Anyone who is a fan of Hong Kong action films will be aware of the work of Johnnie To. He has made a host of brilliant films. The likes of PTU, Election, Running on Karma, Running out of Time, Exiled and Triangle made a big impression, both in domestic and international markets. He’s a prolific filmmaker, but until now he hadn’t made a film since Three in 2016. To teams up with frequent collaborator Ka-Fai Wai for the vivacious Chasing Dream.
Tiger (Jacky Heung) is a rising star in the mixed martial arts world. Despite his mentor’s (Shao Bing) disdain for the sport, he is determined to become a champion. Cuckoo (Keru Wang) is an aspiring musician who is desperate to secure a place on the Perfect Diva talent contest and expose one of the judges (Ma Xiaohui) for the fraud that he is. However, they are both in hock to Tiger’s coach, a money lender. When she finds herself in trouble, he takes pity on her.
Chasing Dream is a slick and vibrant portrait of two ambitious characters weighed down by their pasts. It’s an editing masterclass, beautifully cut and shot to leave you wanting more. The fight scenes are expertly done whilst there’s a wonderful chemistry between the two leads. Wang particularly impresses, she’s a star in the making. It’s a rich and colourful film, brimming with energy and youthful vibrancy. Chasing Dream will take your breath away.
Chasing Dream screens at Fantasia Festival.