Zodiak Killers

What a relentlessly downbeat film this Ann Hui film was to the very last frame.

I should have read the summary in the HK Database first because then I would not have been expecting this film to be a serial killer movie. Finally after some forty minutes had passed and no one yet killed, I read it and it told me what I was beginning to dread a totally misleading title. No serial killers. No Zodiak anything.

Instead, the story revolves around a few Chinese students who have come to Tokyo to study. Life is not pleasant for them. One of them is Andy Lau who spends most of his time earning money by touting for sex bars. One night another Chinese ex-pat takes him to a hostess bar where he meets Cherie Chung, another Chinese student, who hates working in the bar, but needs to earn money. He immediately falls for her, but she is in love with a Yakuza on the outs with his boss. She gets dragged into the Yakazu affairs and Andy gets involved as well. None of it comes out very well for them or the viewer.

Cherie and Andy
There are a couple excellent action scenes and if the film had more of an emotional connection or was a little more upbeat, it could have been an interesting story. But it is difficult to care about the fate of any of the characters. One has to wonder whether the Japanese produced this to frighten Chinese from ever coming to Japan to study or live ! Much of the film is in Japanese.