Tony Leung and Andy Lau Reunite in ‘The Goldfinger,’ Rekindling the Hong Kong Noir Genre: Anticipation Grows as Epic Stories Make a Comeback

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Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau enthusiastically introduces his latest crime film, “The Goldfinger,” marking a reunion with Tony Leung Chiu-wai, his co-star from the acclaimed movie “In the Mood for Love.” Scheduled for release across various parts of Asia and North America, the film’s promotional campaign highlights the reunion of Lau and Leung, rekindling their on-screen chemistry some two decades after their success in the “Infernal Affairs” trilogy. Notably, these movies were both critically lauded and commercially successful, featuring an iconic rooftop confrontation in Hong Kong’s Wanchai district between an undercover cop and a mobster’s mole, a scene that remains etched in memory.

Both actors hold each other in high regard, acknowledging their acting prowess and enduring professionalism, which has sustained their status at the pinnacle of the industry for over two decades. According to Leung, they have matured significantly as actors, accumulating valuable experience over the years and continuing to evolve.

The real allure of this upcoming crime thriller lies in its ability to reunite Lau and Leung in a gritty Hong Kong setting, evoking a sense of nostalgia reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino revitalizing John Travolta’s career in “Pulp Fiction.” Directed and scripted by Felix Chong, known for works like “Project Gutenberg” and the “Overheard” film series, who gained prominence as co-writer of “Infernal Affairs,” “The Goldfinger” explores financial crime, pitting Lau as a seasoned investigator from the 1980s tasked with bringing down Leung’s flamboyant head of the Carmen Century Group.

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The narrative spans several years, encompassing stock market upheavals, the rise and fall of corporate empires, and the elusive pursuit of justice amidst growing casualties. The film’s intricacies and time-jumping storyline are complemented by a substantial budget that authentically captures the period’s essence, showcasing diverse Hong Kong locations that once exuded luxury and glamour but now exude a deliciously retro vibe.

Inheriting the legacy of Hong Kong noir classics like “Infernal Affairs” and the works of directors like Johnny To and John Woo, “The Goldfinger” seeks to revitalize this genre that saw a decline amid Hong Kong cinema’s focus on mainland China audiences and smaller-scale, local productions. Lau emphasizes the importance of a broader market for Hong Kong films, hoping for larger-scale, globally resonant stories that retain their local essence.

Leung echoes the sentiment, highlighting the universal appeal of the film’s theme of financial crimes, suggesting its potential to captivate audiences worldwide. Despite Hong Kong’s evolving role in Asian cinema, the cinematic prowess and craftsmanship endure, with Leung mentioning the absence of digital de-aging techniques in favor of traditional methods involving wigs, makeup, and costumes to portray his character’s varying looks. Additionally, he notes the seamless handling of the narrative’s chronological complexities within the script itself.

“The Goldfinger” stands poised as a thrilling addition to the Hong Kong crime genre, promising an engaging tale of financial intrigue with a global resonance while tapping into the city’s rich cinematic legacy.