Soi Cheang a.k.a. Cheang Pou-soi is a director whose name(s) get my attention because he made one of the great modern action films, KILL ZONE 2 a.k.a. SPL 2: A TIME FOR CONSEQUENCES (2015) – a masterpiece in my book. He has a bunch of other ones I need to catch up with, but I enjoyed his car movie MOTORWAY (2012), and one that’s maybe a little more informative here, the 2007 manga adaptation SHAMO, which I would describe as an evil fighting tournament movie. Its protagonist is the usual underdog fighting against the odds, except he’s also a murderer, he has no sense of honor, and he does not seek or receive redemption. Bad person, good athlete, the end.
For almost its entire runtime, Cheang’s 2021 serial killer thriller LIMBO is even grimmer. It has between one and three characters you can root for, depending on your level of forgiveness, but its story and the world it takes place in – a fictional garbage-strewn neighborhood in Hong Kong – are the bleakest of bleak. The black and white cinematography by Cheng Siu-Keung (INVINCIBLE DRAGON, IP MAN 4: THE FINALE) gives it a moody noir feel at times, gothic horror at others, but mostly just bringing a uniformity to frames crammed with chaotic visual detail. (The screengrabs here will be hard to make out in miniature, and you do get plenty of breathers from that kind of busy-ness in the movie, but I chose them to give you an impression of the incredible production design.) (read the rest of this shit…)