Calling Johnnie To‘s film Life Without Principle a ‘thriller’ may be slightly off-base, but there is a deep tension at the heart of the movie. The story follows people in several economic spheres: a bank worker, a ‘regular’ citizen, and a Triad gangster, and watches as each tries to navigate the Hong Kong economy after the market crash.

By all accounts based on reviews out of TIFF last year, the film misses the mark when it comes to the big dramatic thrust, focusing instead on a lot of granular detail about actual economic matters. But praise has been aimed at the performances from Lau Ching-wan and Denise Ho. And while To’s movies do occasionally miss the forest for the trees, he’s almost always able to create a couple memorable sequences in any given film.

Indeed, the new US trailer for Life Without Principle is, at the very least, a really well-crafted piece of work. I get the idea that it doesn’t represent the movie very honestly, but since watching the trailer will cost nothing but a couple minutes, you’ve got nothing to lose by enjoying  it below.

Twitch has the trailer debut. Indomina releases Life Without Principle on US DVD, VOD and digital platforms May 29th.

LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE is centered around an ordinary bank teller turned financial analyst who 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. 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. Expanding the parameters of the genre and boasting a stellar cast that includes Lau Ching-wan, Richie Jen, Denise Ho, Myolie Wu, Felix Wong and Cheung Siu-fai, Johnnie To’s “Life Without Principle” is a riveting thriller that examines the human components on the subject of money and its effects on people when the going gets tough.

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