Ashes of Time Redux

  • 15
  • Wong Kar-Wai (2008)
  • HK (SUB)
  • 89 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Director Wong Kar-Wai here revisits his 1994 adaptation of Jin Yong's classic martial arts novel The Eagle-Shooting Heroes, starring Leslie Cheung as a man who becomes a cynical, embittered agent for contract killers after being rejected in love. The original film shattered the conventions of the genre by prioritising emotion over action and reducing the fight sequences to impressionistic blurs. This re-editing changes surprisingly little; the temporal shifts are just as obscure and the vignettes remain as slender as the performances are precious. Even so, Cheung's anecdotes about chivalric swordsmen (Tony Leung Kar-Fai, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Jacky Cheung), elusive beauties (Maggie Cheung) and siblings who may be a gender-bending schizophrenic (Brigitte Lin) matter much less than the sensuality of cinematographer Christopher Doyle's hypnotic experiments with light, shade and colour. So watch this twice - once to fathom the fragmentary structure and once simply to surrender to the audacious visual mastery.

Plot Summary

Wong Kar-Wai's re-edit of his own 1994 period martial arts drama. A former swordsman living in the desert acts as an agent to find skilled fighters for those prepared to pay the price for vengeance. But his mercenary attitude masks disappointment and regret at the woman he has left behind.

Cast and crew


Ouyang Feng
Leslie Cheung
Murong Yin / Murong Yang
Brigitte Lin
Blind Swordsman
Tony Leung (2)
Peach Blossom
Carina Lau
Huang Yaoshi
Tony Leung (1)
The girl
Charlie Yeung
Hong Qi
Jacky Cheung
Brother's wife
Maggie Cheung


Wong Kar-Wai

Other Information

Cantonese +subtitles
Theatrical distributor: 
Artificial Eye
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 12 Sep 2008
Certificate 15
Artificial Eye Film Co. Ltd