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Once a Thief (1996)



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John Woo's made-for-TV remake of his own 1990 Hong Kong film leaves a lot to be desired. The potential is certainly here -- the material has numerous possibilities -- but too often the characters will do confusing things or react in confusing ways. The most interesting themes are left by the wayside, so that, by the end, the film does not feel complete. Frankly, it feels like an inferior director hashed this remake together based on someone else's source material that he simply didn't understand. Obviously that's not the case, so what happened? A small budget and weak actors is one explanation; certainly the acting is nothing to admire. In any case, while the movie is good enough to hold one's interest, it's not good enough to be especially rewarding.

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