Limbo (2021 film)

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Limbo (2018 film).jpg
Official film poster
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 智齒
Simplified Chinese 智齿
Directed by Soi Cheang
Written by Au Kin-yee
Shum Kwan-sin
Based onWisdom Tooth
by Lei Mi
Produced by Wilson Yip
Paco Wong
Starring Gordon Lam
Cya Liu
Mason Lee
Hiroyuki Ikeuchi
Cinematography Cheng Siu-Keung
Edited byDavid Richardson
Music by Kenji Kawai
Sun Entertainment Culture
Bona Film Group
Er Dong Pictures
Aether Film Production
Distributed byJust Distribution Limited
Release dates
  • 1 March 2021 (2021-03-01)(Berlinale)
  • 18 November 2021 (2021-11-18)(Hong Kong)
Running time
118 minutes
CountryHong Kong
Language Cantonese
BudgetUS$16 million [1]
Box officeHK$1,276,603 [2]

Limbo is a 2021 Hong Kong action thriller film directed by Cheang Pou-soi and starring Gordon Lam, Cya Liu, Mason Lee and Hiroyuki Ikeuchi. The film is based on the novel Wisdom Tooth by Chinese novelist Lei Mi. [3]


The film had its worldwide premiere at the 71st Berlin International Film Festival on 1 March 2021, [4] and was theatrically released in Hong Kong on 18 November 2021. [5]


Rookie police officer Will Yam (Mason Lee) is a recent graduate of the police academy. Due to a wave of serial killings, Will is partnered with veteran officer Cham Lau (Gordon Lam), who was recently reinstated on the force. However, the duo is unable to solve the cases and instead causes a series of incidents. Later, Cham re-encounters a drug-addicted street urchin, Wong To (Cya Liu), who ran over his wife and daughter in the past, and his anger makes him spiral out of control and continuously abuse her. Will clumsily loses his pistol, which is found by the serial killer. With the killer lurking in the city, a crisis grows closer.



Principal photography for Limbo began in September 2017 in Hong Kong and wrapped up after three months filming, with To Kwa Wan and Kwun Tong being the main filming locations as many old buildings are located in these districts of the city. [6]

On 2 October 2017, filming of a fight scene between actors Gordon Lam and Hiroyuki Ikeuchi took place on a rooftop in Kwun Tong. Both Lam and Ikeuchi lost 8 pounds and 30 pounds of weight respectively for their roles in the film. [7] [6] On 8 October 2017, which was also Lam's birthday, filming took place in Kowloon Bay for a scene where Lam was going through a garbage chute looking for evidence. [8] [9]


Limbo had its world premiere at the 71st Berlin International Film Festival, which was held virtually from 1 to 5 March 2021. [4] The film was later shown in competition at the 23rd Far East Film Festival from 25 to 26 June 2021 [10] where it won the Purple Mulberry Award [11] The film was released in Hong Kong on 18 November 2021.[ citation needed ]


Gordon Lam 2017-08-15 HKIFF SUMMER 2017.jpg
Cya Liu at Hong Kong Film Festival 2022.png
Gordon Lam and Cya Liu's performance received critical acclaim. Liu's performance earned her Best Actress award at the 40th Hong Kong Film Awards.

Box office

In Hong Kong, the film grossed HK$740,238 during its first four days of release, opening at No. 5 during its debut weekend. In its second weekend, the film grossed HK$563,365, coming in at No. 10, and have grossed a total of HK$1,276,603 so far. [2]

Critical reception

Lee Marshall of Screen Daily praises director Cheang Pou-soi's "dystopian vision of an Asian metropolis in the throes of a political and social identity crisis" as the film's "most striking feature." [12] Jessica Kiang of Variety praises the film's well-choreographed action sequences which compliment Cheng Siu-Keung's dazzling camera work. [13]

Awards and nominations

202123rd Far East Film Festival MYmovies Purple Mulberry AwardLimboWon [14]
202228th Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards Best FilmLimboWon [15]
Best Director Cheang Pou-soi Nominated
Best Actor Gordon Lam Nominated
Best ActressCya LiuWon
40th Hong Kong Film Awards Best Film LimboNominated [16]
Best Director Cheang Pou-soi Nominated
Best Actor Gordon Lam Nominated
Best Actress Cya Liu Won
Best Supporting Actress Fish Liew Nominated
Best Screenplay Au Kin-yee, Shum Kwan SinWon
Best Cinematography Cheng Siu-Keung Won
Best Art Direction Kenneth Mak, Renee WongWon
Best Film Editing David RichardsonNominated
Best Costume & Make Up Design Bruce Yu, Karen YipNominated
Best Original Film Score Kenji Kawai Nominated
Best Action Choreography Jack Wong Wai-leungNominated
Best Visual Effects Garrett Lam, Ho Man Lok, Diu King WaiNominated
Best Sound Design Nopawat LikitwongNominated
59th Golden Horse Awards Best Narrative Feature LimboNominated [17] [18]
Best Director Cheang Pou-soi Nominated
Best Leading Actor Gordon Lam Nominated
Best Leading Actress Cya LiuNominated
Best Supporting Actor Mason Lee Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Au Kin-yee and Shum Kwan-sinWon
Best Cinematography Cheng Siu-Keung Won
Best Visual Effects Garrett Lam, Ho Man-lok and Diu King-waiWon
Best Art Direction Mak Kwok-keung and Renee WongWon
Best Makeup & Costume Design Bruce Yu Ka-on and Karen YipNominated
Best Action Choreography Jack Wong Wai-leungNominated
Best Original Film Score Kenji Kawai Nominated
Best Film Editing David M. RichardsonNominated
Best Sound Effects Nopawat LikitwongNominated
Audience Choice Award LimboWon

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