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life without principle

Is there any meaningful difference between illegal organized crime and legal organized crime (investment banking)? That’s at the heart of Johnnie To’s film about the 2007 financial crisis. A mid-level and kind of dumb gangster, a low-level failing investment banker, and a clueless cop and his wife who wants a settled life have intersecting stories in To’s film. A real break from his usual action fare, To explores a much deeper question about modern society. A gangland director, he points his camera toward modern issues and finds that there’s really no difference. Everyone is trying to get ahead, bosses are corrupt and ruthless, and sometimes people fall into pure luck. The stories don’t always compel (particularly that of the cop and his wife) and this is not the great movie of the failings of 21st century capitalism. But it is a worthy movie and deserves wider publicity.

6/10

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