A World Without Thieves – DVD Review

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Feng Xiaogang


Rene Liu……….Li
Andy Lau……….Bo
Gu You……….Uncle Le
Wang Baoqiang……….Fu Gen

DVD Release Date: July 24, 2007
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 100 Minutes

The Movie

Bo and Li Wang are a married couple enjoying the good life; they are a modern day Bonnie and Clyde. Together they get through life by any means necessary and taking whatever they want. It doesn’t matter if it is petty theft, a con, or simply mugging people; they’ll do anything to make their money as long as it is against the law.

One day, though, Li has had enough of this lifestyle and wants to turn things around and go straight. She is so sick of living life as a criminal that she even gives Bo the choice that he can follow her lead or they can split. Even though he is weary of it, Bo decides that staying with his wife is the best suggestion but his mind still thinks about nothing but stealing and what he can take from someone next.

Upon hijacking a car (necessity before pride, I guess), the couple arrive at a train station and meet up with a nice older man named Fu Gen who is on his way home. Fu Gen is going back to his family and has all his riches on him so automatically Bo’s mind begins racing as to what he can do to get it. But Li has every intention of making sure that the kindly man gets back home to his family with all his belongings and riches firmly in his possession.

Despite Bo constantly trying to think of a new way to get Fu Gen’s money without causing more problems with Li; there are bigger problems for the traveling trio. A gang of thieves led by a man named Uncle Le are now on board the train and after Fu Gen’s money. Bo and Li are up to the fight, and both are willing to protect Fu Gen and make sure that Uncle Le’s gang doesn’t get the money, but their reasons are both very different.

While A World Without Thieves is not a bad film, the story itself just isn’t that interesting. Bo and Li have their little quip with each other and then come to an agreement and then BAM, the rest of the film is on a train. Sure there is a decent plot and everything flows rather well, but it was just really hard to ever get fully involved in it without being bored.

There are a few decent fight scenes and some interesting twists come the end. Yet still that isn’t enough to make it any more enjoyable. Andy Lau is the one bright spot as Bo. He is trying to play two different roles in being on Li’s side and in agreement with her while all the while trying to play the sneaky thief he truly is. It is just a shame he didn’t have much to work with in way of a supporting cast or decent story.

The Video

The film is shown in 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen and looks good. The blacks are very strong and never go the way of being shadowy or having a blue/purple tint to them. Colors are vibrant and rich making this a very nice looking film.

The Audio

The film is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound which makes the film sound really good. All dialogue can be heard clearly and above everything else although you won’t understand it anyway unless you know Mandarin or Cantonese. There are English subtitles which are nicely timed and is a big bonus. The music works well and never overpowers anything else such as conversation or sound effects.

Special Features

Deleted Scenes – Six deleted scenes that I really can’t say if they would have been better off left in the film or not. There are no subtitles with any of them so I have no idea what is going on or being said.

The Making Of A World Without Thieves – The making of featurette is actually split up into six very short segments. Each one clocks in at one to two minutes and there is some behind the scenes footage and interviews, but again no subtitles so I have no real idea what is happening.

Original Theatrical Trailer

Photo Gallery – Close to four minutes worth of stills from the film and some behind the scenes shots.

TrailersThe Hidden Blade, Natural City, Old Boy, and Lady Vengeance

The Inside Pulse

Tartan just totally dropped the ball on this DVD. In the rare occurrence that the film itself isn’t too good, such as with this one, then the DVD is usually packed with special features to make up for it. Here there is close to 45 minutes worth of extra goodies, but without subtitles they are worthless to the English-speaking audience. Or more so anyone that can’t speak Mandarin or Cantonese. It really is a shame because the making-of featurette had some interesting looking segments even though they were very short. There are a lot better DVDs available from Tartan to choose from if you are looking for a good action flick. So take the advice of one of the trailers on this one and go buy or rent Old Boy instead.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for A World Without Thieves
(OUT OF 10)