Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love was an erotic masterpiece of desperately suppressed romantic longing, making his schizoid-remix-follow-up 2046 – an often chilly, remote and repetitive rumination on similar themes – such a letdown. Wai’s bifurcated tone poem charts playboy writer Mr. Chow (Tony Leung) – seemingly a doppelganger of In the Mood for Love’s protagonist – as he rents unit 2047 in a 1967 apartment building, spending his days and nights either watching and wooing the various goddesses (Ziyi Zhang, Gong Li) staying in the titular room next door, or writing a sci-fi novel (titled “2046”) about a futuristic version of himself, his android lover (Faye Wong), and a mystifying place (again, called “2046”) where the past can be relived. A kaleidoscopic swirl of luxurious colors, atmospheric lighting and dreamy slow-motion, the movie strives for a seductive melody but instead achieves only a beautifully stuporous drone, again and again mishmashing history, the present and the future (2046 is also the 50th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China) without ever saying – or making us feel – anything significantly different than he did with his previous masterpiece. Referencing In the Mood for Love’s finale, Chow and his mistresses repeatedly discuss whispering secrets into a hole in a tree. Yet the problem with 2046 is that Wai’s abstract film hints less at tantalizing emotional mysteries than at an apparent vacuity lurking beneath its gorgeous mise-en-scène.