Love Hurts

With her half-thriller, half- tearjerker movie Jade Goddess of Mercy, Ann Hui has become the answer to an unlikely question: "What would you get if you combined Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon) and Jane Campion (The Piano)?" One of Hong Kong's few female filmmakers, Hui is best known for character-driven dramas such as July Rhapsody. But partway through Goddess, she gives in to her basic, box-office instinct to deliver what the people want: lots of gunplay.

The film centers on an idealistic Chinese antidrug cop (Vicky Zhao Wei) in Yunnan province who becomes emotionally entangled with a handsome...

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