Wolves Cry under the Moon
Reviewed by Chen Chiou Beng
Chinese Title: Guo dao feng bi
Director: Ho Ping
Cast: Yi Neng-Jing, Chang Shih, Gu Bao-Ming, To Tzong-Hua
Runtime: 121 minutes
Rating: *** ½ (out of four stars)
What do a female car thief, the car owner, a driver, a prostitute, three foulmouthed puppeteers, an assassin and a bus driver have in common? Why, they are all trapped on the minor roads of Taipei when all major roads are closed for 12 hours by the Taiwanese government. All characters do not meet, for in essence the three stories (four actually) have only their cars brushing by each other.
The first story involves an assassin. He kills a political figure and escapes, at first on a motorbike, but when it runs out of petrol, he hijacks a bus for a means of escape, but instead a father-son bond is formed through the night between the assassin and the bus driver.
The second involves the driver of a rich person. He wanted to go see his girlfriend for her birthday but the diversion caused him to be late. Then, he got up a traveling whorehouse and later, I believe in a state of anger and reminiscent of scenes in the movie Crash, he tries to exert his sexual displeasure by crashing into other people's cars.
The third is actually two stories. This involves a female car thief who, using the stolen car's owner's handphone, calls the original owner and a feeling develops between the two. Also within the three puppeteers, who got lost trying to get to Taipei, got into her car and funny things happen.
This is, overall, a great fun movie to anyone who thinks that all Taiwan movies are dull. Like Wu Nien-Jen's Buddha Bless America, this is light-hearted compared to other works. One should really check out Wolves Cry Under the Moon, for it is Ho Ping's most ambitious project by far, which took five years in the making.