Chan Is Missing

"Very Good"

Chan Is Missing Review


Wayne Wang's bizarre career ranges from the austere Joy Luck Club to the indie oddities Smoke and The Center of the World to his more recent sell-out projects, fare like Maid in Manhattan and Last Holiday. Viewing his breakout second feature, Chan Is Missing, gives you no hint of any of the things to come, but 24 years ago Wang proved himself to be a capable newcomer with this quirky oddity.

There's a story here, but barely. Two Chinese San Francisco cab drivers (Wood Moy and Marc Hayashi) discover their friend, Chan Hung, is, well, missing. This probably wouldn't bother them much, as humans go, they're a pretty disaffected pair. But Chan has $4,000 of theirs, and he's vanished under suspicious circumstances, revolving around something called "the flag-waving incident," which we sort of understand but don't really care about.

That's because, like many of Wang's indie movies, this is a story about people and their environments. Chan's cabbies -- one an older, traditional Chinese man, one a youngster with high hair and a Saturday Night Fever swagger -- are what we in San Francisco would call "characters," the kind of locals that you see on every corner, each an original that's come from a now-broken mold. Moy and Hayashi visit Chinatown back allies and steamy take-out kitchens in search of information about Chan, but what develops isn't a mystery, but rather a look at the city from the inside out. This isn't Fodor's, folks.

Ultimately, Chan remains missing and the movie ultimately feels a little thin. Locals like myself will probably find it eye-opening to see that in a quarter century the city has barely changed at all. Outsiders will probably want to hop on a flight to get here for some dim sum.

The DVD includes a retrospective interview with the two leads.



Chan Is Missing

Facts and Figures

Run time: 80 mins

In Theaters: Friday 4th June 1982

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 10

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: Wood Moy as Jo, Marc Hayashi as Steve, Laureen Chew as Amy, Peter Wang as Henry the Cook, Presco Tabios as Presco

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

Advertisement
City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.