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Brigitte Lin, Faye Wong, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Valerie Chow, Tony Leung Chiu Wai

Wong Kar-Wai's movie about two love-struck cops is filmed in impressionistic splashes of motion and color. The first half deals with Cop 223, who has broken up with his girlfriend of five years. He pu... read more read more...rchases a tin of pineapples with an expiration date of May 1 each day for a month. By the end of that time, he feels that he will either be rejoined with his love or that it too will have expired forever. The second half shows Cop 663 dealing with his breakup with his flight attendant girlfriend. He talks to his apartment furnishings until he meets a new girl at a local lunch counter.

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94% liked it

38,698 ratings


90% liked it

51 critics

PG-13, 1 hr. 43 min.

Directed by: Kar Wai Wong

Release Date: March 8, 1996

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DVD Release Date: May 21, 2002

Stats: 2,542 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (2,542)

  • February 2, 2012
    Fast paced cinematography adds a lot of rather good visuals to this movie. This film is a two parter. The first story ends abruptly, and without a clear resolution, and I can't say that cared for that one much. The second story, however, works a little better. Rather interesting,... read more and quirky. This film was a little more "artsy" than I prefer.
  • fb1216165431
    September 10, 2011
    Two police officers and two distinct, compelling, and peculiar stories of intimacy, The Chungking Express is a Kar-Wai Wong masterpiece that perfectly captured the Hong Kong night culture with inventive cinematography, exuberant music, and exceptional talent. Irresistible.
  • March 12, 2011
    This wasn't an instant hit with me, it plodded along slowly and seemed to have little structure in storyline, however it does begin to grow on you as the characters develop and the plot thickens. The photography style also gives the film a very modern look.
  • February 20, 2011
    Wong Kar Wai broke all kinds of cinematic molds with this Hong Kong black comedy about drug mules, expired pineapple cans, brief loves and twisted obsessions. Wong's frenetic stylistics and ostentatious use of music highlight Chungking Express, an international filmic pioneer.
  • January 23, 2011
    Simply amazing! I loved every minute of this film. The whole storyline seemed familar, though, at times. I feel that is because Hollywood has used this type of film structure in many films that I have seen.

    I enjoyed the storyline, two lonely cops both connected by a Honk Kong... read more snack bar- just brilliant. Although I have to say the second part of the film was a lot better than the first and was the heart of the film for me.

    Once again the cinematography was amazing and I've noticed re-accuring themes such as; love and connections in Wong's films. I'm certainly going to watch more of his films, as I've loved all that i've watched so far.

    I wish we saw more original films in Hollywood today and why can't they all be as beautiful like this?

    Some brilliant performances from Tony leung and faye Wong, which for me made the film what it is. Again, I'll be watching more og Leung's films as he is becoming one of my favourite actors.

    Really, everybody should watch this film. I can't recomend this enough!
  • May 1, 2010
    A fantastic and beautiful movie about loneliness in a big city. This film is split up into two stories about heartache. I would love to see this movie get released in the United States. It takes patience and while not giving anything away, you find the heartfelt but quirky ways t... read morehat people deal with loneliness.
  • December 11, 2009
    "If my memory of her has an expiration date, let it be 10,000 years..."

    Two stories, two lovelorn cops, two objects of desire: one a big-time heroin dealer in deep trouble with her boss after the cargo disappears, the other a seriously flaky take-out waitress who inadvert... read moreently gets hold of the keys to her admirer's apartment, all shot in a breathless kaleidoscope of color and hand-held camera work to create a mesmerizing portrait of Hong Kong in the 1990s.


    I finally got a chance to finish this movie and I have to say that I love it. It's a very expressionistic piece with a lot of attention to film details, such as editing, framing, camera-work, etc. that makes film geeks like me gush with enthusiasm. There's a buoyancy and an energy to almost every second of the film that makes the budget production quality seem like an enhancement rather than a problem--it's as though this film could only be made on a limited budget, using a hand-held camera, cheaper filmstock and so forth. First of all, this film is not about story or even characters in the traditional story sense, although there is a little character development, it's more about communicating the experience of the characters to the audience in a way that incorporates the entirety of the film. In that way, it reminds me of Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless. However, this film is a bit more centered on the characters' experience of getting over heartbreak and attempts to find new love amidst the heartbreak.

    The acting in the film is just fine, although I'd have to give the upper hand to the second half of the film's duo over the first. However, despite the solid acting overall, this film is really a director's film. Some of the tricks that director Wong Kar Wai pulls are just so perfect in capturing mood and emotion. The writing is a little unspectacular, but then again, the use of voice-over and the simplistic nature of the dialogue all help drive the experiential effect of the film. There are weaknesses in the film, like the story and the occasional moments where my suspension of disbelief is tested, but these are minor details, since the film's emotional and experiential power had me feeling quite effervescent at the end of the film. I loved it.
  • November 3, 2009
    The stylish but superficial Wong Kar Wai is the most over-rated filmmaker in Asia. He is Asia's answer to the clever but shallow Coen Brothers. With 1994's "Chungking Express," Mr. Wong bores us to tears by playing the song "California Dreamin" by the Mamas and the Papas about a ... read moredozen times.

    Hearing the same song over and over is like Chinese water torture. Mr. Wong's screenplay is another form of torture. We meet four characters who have as much going on in their heads as the goldfish in the main character's aquarium. These human goldfish swim through life blithely and aimlessly, looking for the next scrap of mild pleasure to amuse themselves.

    To them, relationships are mild trifles to be enjoyed before one moves onto something else. So we just watch them flit along vacuously. Yet Mr. Wong is not presenting this view of the world in a critical way. He intends his audience to have the same kind of mild pleasure as the characters on the screen do. He brings a sophisticated style of cinematography to the table, but his stories are even more shallow than the average TV sitcom. Why, oh why, does this filmmaker/goldfish continue to get great reviews around the world?
  • September 30, 2009
    Wong Kar Wai's influences from the French 'New wave' are clear but he definitely brings his own style and flare to this beautiful and unconventional film
  • August 19, 2009
    an innovative and captivating drama of heart break told as two short films that are loosely connected by coincidental circumstances. wong's characters are engaging and most of the dialogue was well done. unfortunately, the short story of the two featured that i most enjoyed was... read more not fleshed out well enough and was the shorter of the two. the second story, which was also good but not as much so, was given most of the screen time and was fleshed out well. had the first story been given twenty or so more minutes this film could have reached masterpiece status for me, but even as it is i loved watching it and i highly recommend it.

Critic Reviews

Jeff Shannon
May 28, 2014
Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times

I've never been a big fan of technique that calls attention to itself, but Wong's frenetic blend of slow motion, pixilation, rushing backgrounds and frozen foregrounds (or vice versa) is as integral t... Full Review

Peter Travers
May 28, 2014
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

[Wong's] hypnotic images of love and loss finally wear down your resistance as seemingly discordant sights and sounds coalesce into a radiant, crazy quilt. Full Review

Michael Wilmington
May 28, 2014
Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

Chungking Express is a breezy little Hong Kong movie that has more life, energy, humanity and sheer visual zing than most other shows you'll see in a month or so. Full Review

Dave Kehr
May 28, 2014
Dave Kehr, New York Daily News

Dull it is not, but Wong's trademark sense of romantic melancholy fails to jell amid all the excess. Full Review

Desson Thomson
May 28, 2014
Desson Thomson, Washington Post

It's the cinematic equivalent of popcorn on a hot stove with jump-cut shots, freeze frames, stirringly beautiful images and boundless energy.

Carrie Rickey
May 28, 2014
Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer

A lyrical and delightfully goofy study in romantic longing. Full Review

James Wolcott
May 28, 2014
James Wolcott, New Yorker

The film is so talky, repetitious, visually stuttery, and slackly paced that sitting through it once is like seeing it twice. Full Review

Richard Corliss
May 28, 2014
Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine

Wong made Chungking in just 23 days, and the film's mad-dash energy is nicely reflected in his quartet of stars. Wong, himself a star of cinema's future, has already shown that he possesses a uniquely... Full Review

Jonathan Rosenbaum
May 28, 2014
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

Wong's singular frenetic visual style and his special feeling for lonely romantics may remind you of certain French New Wave directors, but this movie isn't a trip down memory lane; it's a vibrant com... Full Review

Derek Elley
March 26, 2009
Derek Elley, Variety

A quicksilver magical mystery tour through the lives of a bunch of young downtown loners. Full Review

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    • He Quiwu Cop 223: Do you like pineapple?

Chungking Express : Watch Free on TV

Chungking Express Trivia

  • What Mamas & Papas song does Faye Wong's character listen to incessantly in Chungking Express?  Answer »
  • Which movie had the tagline "If my memory of her has an expiration date, let it be 10,000 years..."?  Answer »
  • Which Wong Kar-Wai film prominently features the song 'California Dreamin'?  Answer »
  • Who directed Chungking Express, 2046, Days of Being Wild, and In the Mood for Love?  Answer »

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