Johnnie got his gun is the latest film from France's Yves Montmayeur, a filmmaker who has made a number of Asian film based documentaries. This latest film concentrates on Johnnie To, fairly familiar territory for him as he previously made a short film on Milkyway image,which is included on the French dvd release of Breaking news.Update: reviewed here
|Is this proof of a subbed good quality Mission?|
Another flaw with the film is despite a short running time of only 59 minutes, it feels quite padded with a few too many artily shot on video establishing shots of Hong Kong, set to moody music.
For fans of To and his films however, the film has plenty to offer. Perhaps the most interesting elements to come from To himself are focused on how his filmmaking style evolved and how that style affects the narratives the Milkyway team come up with. Also interesting is the collaboration with the Hong Kong police to make sure the cop characters are following the correct procedures in the films. The cast and crew interviews feature some nice moments including Anthony Wong (in English) confirming that To can be somewhat of a tyrant if the actors don't give him what he requires!
A few clips of behind the scenes footage from various films are featured including a kind of guided tour of the Milkyway building with Simon Yam (again in English) culminating with the roof top set used for the final shoot out in Exiled, this was great to see and provided a real insight into the movie making process. We also get to see a few moments of Life without principle being shot with Lau Ching Wan and a trip to Cannes to promote Election.
I didn't find Johnnie got his gun particularly successful as a documentary, it's too superficial for that. It needed a more in depth specific interview rather than snippets from all over. What it does do well though is provide fans with some cool moments that given the lack of special features usually included on Milkyway dvds, they would otherwise never get to see. You can take that as a measure of if you need to see it or not!