Ingeniously orchestrated action is Exiled’s prime pleasure, though Johnny To (Election, Triad Election) also surrounds his gleefully extravagant, expertly choreographed gunfights with beguiling, contemplative drama. Wo (Nick Cheung) is marked for death by the former employer, Boss Fay (Simon Yam), whom he tried to assassinate. His demise, however, is delayed when the childhood friends/gangster comrades sent to do the job decide – after a firefight that ends with the killers helping Wo move furniture into his apartment, and posing for a group photograph reminiscent of one taken years earlier – to first help him make money to leave behind for his wife and infant son. The ensuing tale plumbs issues of brotherhood, loyalty, and sacrifice with slightly overblown yet evocative melodramatics. It’s a mood perfectly in keeping with To’s three centerpiece sequences, which have an insane go-for-broke flamboyance that – especially with regards to the shootout that occurs after an injured Wo is taken to a private doctor, and the similarly wounded Boss Fay arrives to receive treatment – is nothing short of breathtaking. The opening scene, in which hitmen patiently await the arrival of their target, strikingly recalls the bravura intro to Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West, a link that becomes concrete in the film’s final act, when the build-up to Wo’s comrades’ showdown with Boss Fay’s minions is scored to a plaintive harmonica. Yet regardless of this homage to Leone’s revisionist Westerns, Exiled, an electric, inventive amalgam of gonzo violence and lyrical sentimentality, is ultimately all To.