The Wild Goose Lake: Diao Yinan takes a good look both at the criminal underbelly of China and at a large city in the interior of that country, as the film tells the story of a criminal, fugitive from both sides of the aisle. It is a nice neo-noir of sorts, unromanticized and unafraid to show how muddy the ground level is; everything is tainted, almost ugly. Everything but the beautiful, often distinctive, images conjured by cinematographer Dong Jingsong, that is; the film takes place mostly at night, so his use of light to showcase the locations is rather fine. Beyond the two central characters, which are rich and layered, the remainder of the gallery is somewhat one-dimensional, but they function to tell the story. Hu Ge gives a convincing performance as the far-from-innocent man-on-the-run; Gwei Lun-mei is also a good presence, with her pixie, innocent looks; Liao Fan has a minor role, but he projects the aura of hard and efficient relentlessness.