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Film / Fallen Angels

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["Fallen Angels"] is kind of exhausting and kind of exhilarating. It will appeal to the kinds of people you see in the Japanese animation section of the video store, with their sleeves cut off so you can see their tattoos. And to those who subscribe to more than three film magazines. And to members of garage bands. And to art students. It's not for your average moviegoers—unless of course, they want to see something new.

Fallen Angels (墮落天使) is a film by Wong Kar-wai released in 1995, and something in-between a sequel and a companion film for Chungking Express. Like the latter film, its plot (a jaded hitman in a complicated relationship with his female manager agrees to One Last Job) is incidental; the real point of the film is to depict Hong Kong as Wong perceives it, a cramped urban nightscape of bright lights and frantic movement.


Contains examples of:

  • Always Night: All of the scenes take place at night.
  • Call-Back: A lot of them to Chungking Express, most of them hints from Ho's story to that one's first arc:
    • Ho mentions eating expired pinapple as the reason for his muteness - the Trademark Favorite Food of policeman He, also played by Takeshi Kaneshiro.
    • At one point, Ho also states that everything expires.
    • Charlie always cries at Ho's shoulder after trying to call her ex-boyfriend, an allusion to He telling the woman in blonde wig that a heart-broken girl should find a shoulder to cry on.
    • As Ho decides to not break into stores anymore, he lingers in the Midnight Express diner. This is particularly ironic since by this point the diner is run by Cop 633, who has a history of people breaking in and playing with his possessions.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Wong's manager is in love with him but can't manage to say so out loud. So she dresses in a leather minidress, fishnet stockings and high heels, in the hope that he'll take the hint.
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  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to Chungking Express. While that one had two policemen as protagonists, this one's protagonists are criminals.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Wong's manager pleasures herself, fantasizing about him.
  • Facial Dialogue: Invoked. He Qiwu communicates this way to other characters on account of being mute. He acknowledges that while he isn't sure that he's able to say everything, especially to Charlie, he gets the feeling that he's generally understood.
  • Film Noir
  • Guns Akimbo: Wong's specialty.
  • Heroic Bloodshed: Wong's character pays homage to the genre, being a Badass in a Nice Suit who kicks ass using Guns Akimbo.
  • Meaningful Echo: After Wong is shot, his voice-over repeats his intruducing words about him not being the one to decide who dies.
  • No Name Given: Wong's manager is only known as The Agent.
  • One Last Job
  • Professional Killer: Wong Chi-ming.
  • Shout-Out: There are multiple references to Chungking Express, to the point of Continuity Nod, even though the film is not technically a sequel.
  • The Speechless: He Qiwu, a drifter who ekes out a living breaking into stores at night and "opening" them for his own benefit, has gone mute from eating too many canned pineapples past their sell-by date (as seen in Chungking Express).
  • Spiritual Successor: To Chungking Express, as hinted above.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: What exactly did He Qiwu do to the guy he was following around at the end?


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