Beyond Hypothermia- -
A mysterious and highly successful hitwoman in Hong Kong is paid to assassinate top-level crime bosses. After beginning a relationship with a noodle vendor, she decides to travel to South Korea to complete one last job. Unfortunately, the dead man's bodyguard is out for revenge.
A martial arts costumer in contempo dress, BEYOND HYPOTHERMIA represents a change of image for Taiwanese actress Wu Chien-lien, more often seen in misty-eyed romantic roles, here playing Hui, a Chinese refugee from Cambodia who was raised in Hong Kong as a professional killer.
Solitary and emotionless, she’s memorably intro’d using an ice house as vantage point for a hit. Her only human contact is with her adoptive more and Shek, a noodle-stall owner across the way. After taking out a prominent Korean in Seoul, she’s pursued back to HK by Choi, a bodyguard who’s determined to avenge his boss’s death. Meanwhile, Hui, against all the rules of her profession, finds herself falling for the uncomplicated Shek as Choe gradually closes in. Even more than in SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME, helmer Patrick Leung shows a striking ability to conjure up a rarefied emotional atmosphere through music, visuals and editing – which is just as well since the script, basically a variant on the classic Chinese staple of goddess-falls-for-ordinary-mortal, is nothing special.
Though pic is a typically sweet-sour HK cocktail of bloody action and innocent romance, it consistently delivers on an action level: Standout sequences include a foot chase through Seoul streets with Hui’s pursuers being bounced around like shuttlecocks by the traffic, and the final shootout, a tragic symphony of gunplay and crunching auto metal. Eschewing the usual exotic duds of the killer-femme genre, the graceful Wu, with her otherworldly looks, is well cast, though called upon for no great acting. As her vis-a-vis, Lau is relaxed and reliable as ever. With top talents in lensing, production design and editing, tech credits are all peachy. Chinese tile means “32 Degrees Celsius”, a reference to the abnormally low blood temperature of Wu’s character.
Thanks to Far East Film Festival