A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
The opening scene in "Exiled" lacks only a score by Ennio Morricone to be a spaghetti Western. A fistful of knuckles raps on a door. No answer. Again. Again. The door opens. The man knocking asks for "Mr. Wo." A woman replies, "Not here. Wrong house." The routine is repeated again, for this is indeed the house of Mr. Wo (Nick Cheung), and the woman is Jin, his wife (Josie Ho).
The setting is the Chinese offshore island of Macao, in 1988, right before the Portuguese turned it over to the Chinese. Although all of the characters are Asian, the streets and buildings, mostly Portuguese architecture, look as Mexican as Chinese, and the plot and action look more spaghetti than noodles.
The two men who have turned up at Wo's house have been sent from Hong Kong to kill him. They are Blaze (Anthony Wong) and Fat (Lam Suet). Then two more men turn up, and we discover they hope to protect him. They are Cat (Roy Cheung) and Tai (Francis Ng). A high-angle shot shows them staked out at perimeters of a sun-drenched square, smoking cigars. Nobody else is on the streets. Jin looks warily out a window sometimes.
All of this moves slowly ("suspensefully" would be stretching it), and then all hell breaks loose. Wo comes home and everyone starts shooting, and then, if there are survivors (draw your own conclusions), they all help Mrs. Wo set her house straight and sit down to a big meal, using chopsticks to extend their boarding-house reach. They were recently all shooting at one another, but they were childhood friends, and so after business comes pleasure.