One Last Dance (4 stars)

One Last Dance

(18) 110min (Tartan DVD retail/rental)


Straight-to-DVD premieres no longer herald generally third-rate titles, as this off-beat Asian crime film proves. Written and directed by Brazilian filmmaker Max Makowski, and financed and shot in Singapore, it’s an entertainingly quirky take on the Hong Kong gangster movie filtered through the now familiar kind of post-modern playfulness – non-chronological plotting, humorous dialogue exchanges, excessively stylised violence – made popular by Tarantino, himself a big Asian crime film fan.

Poker-faced Hong Kong actor Francis Ng plays an enigmatic professional assassin named T, who’s hired to kill a gang of kidnappers, but who finds himself entangled in a web of deceit spun between his targets and the Italian mob in the form of Harvey Keitel. As T comes closer to executing his commission, his increasing disillusionment with his chosen profession becomes more evident, and the film reveals itself as an affecting character study. No extras.