Veteran Hong Kong director Johnnie To looks to be taking a reprieve from his usual gangster fare with his latest film Life Without Principle. To is often referred to as the heir to John Woo’s abandoned throne, thanks to super-stylised shoot-em-ups Exiled and Vengeance as well as the two magnificent films released so far from his gangster trilogy Election.

Life Without Principle appears to be a thriller with something larger on its mind, obviously influenced by the recent financial crisis (in case the poster didn’t already tip you off). It stars To regulars Lau Ching-wan and Richie Ren alongside singer-actress Denise Ho, and just picked up the last competition slot in the Venice Film Festival.

Check out the trailer and synopsis below (via Slashfilm).

Life Without Principle tells the story of three characters: an ordinary bank teller turned financial analyst is forced to sell high risk securities to her customers in order to meet her sales target; a small-time thug delves into the futures index hoping to earn easy money to post bail for a buddy in trouble with the law; a straight-arrow Police inspector, who has always enjoyed his middle income lifestyle, is suddenly desperate for money when his wife puts a down payment on a luxury flat she can’t afford and his dying father wants him to look after a young half-sister he never knew he had.

Three little people who are in dire need of money for the predicaments in their respective lives have nothing in common until a bag of stolen money worth $5m pops up and lands them in an intricate situation that forces them into making soul searching decisions about right and wrong and everything in between on the morality scale.

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    […] a new poster this week. While I’m much more keen on the sound of To’s other new film, Life Without Principle, I admire him for continuing to broaden his […]

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