Life Express
Hong Kong 2004
Directed by Blacky Ko.

A poor kid named Luk Fei (Liu Ci-Hang) is admitted to hospital with hemophilia while doctors (Richie Jen and Ruby Lin) scramble to find a bone marrow transplant, but the donor match that shows up is from a hardened criminal currently doing time in prison (Blackie Ko). He meets a young girl with the same condition, and they become friends. Meanwhile, their mothers behave like they are in a Bergman film, staring blankly into grey space and delivering monologues about their misery. Less a film than a public service announcement encouraging people to become bone marrow donors and dispelling some fears potential donors might have about the process. The kid will pull your heartstrings the whole way through like you wouldn't believe, though. There isn't very much suspense, though. You just know he's going to get that bone marrow transplant. If he didn't, you would hate the filmmakers forever and never leave the house again. The final dash to get the transplanted bone marrow to the boy is a silly action piece set once again to my least favorite plot device (the earthquake) and fits poorly with the rest of the production. It's just as well, I suppose. The movie is at its best in the beginning, before it becomes clear that its purpose was didactic, not dramatic. Blacky Ko's last picture before he drank himself to death in December, 2003, at age 50.

Rating: Marginally Recommended (Marginally Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on December 31, 2004.

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