Running on Karma

Running on Karma

Infobox Film
name = Running on Karma

image_size =
caption = Movie poster
director = Johnnie To
Wai Ka-Fai
producer = Johnnie To
Wai Ka-Fai
Presented by
Charles Heung
Hou Ke Ming
Administrative Producer
Tiffany Chen
writer = Wai Ka-Fai
Yau Nai-Hoi
Au Kin-Yee
Yip Tin-Shing
narrator =
starring = Andy Lau
Cecilia Cheung
Cheung Siu-Fai
music = Cacine Wong
cinematography = Cheng Siu-Keung
editing = Law Wing-Cheong
distributor = flagicon|Hong Kong China Star Entertainment Group
released = 2003
runtime =
country = flagicon|Hong Kong Hong Kong / China
language = Cantonese/English/Hindi
budget =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id = 1:295698
imdb_id = 0374184

"Running on Karma" (zh-ts|t=大隻佬|s=大只佬/大块头有大智慧; Literal Title: "Big Man"/"Big Man has big wisdom"), also known as "An Intelligent Muscle Man", is a 2003 Hong Kong film, produced and directed by Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai.

This is the second movie starring Andy Lau in which he wears a prosthetic suit. As in his previous film, "Love on a Diet", he also wore a fat suit. In this movie, however, he wears a muscle suit.

This movie is a mish-mash of genres and ends up being a well thought out Buddhist parable about the nature of karma. Although uneven and sometimes over the top, at heart it is about acceptance and the nobility of forgiveness. There were some cuts in the Mainland China edition to meet the requirements for release there.


Big was a Buddhist Monk, but he gave up this occupation when he realized he could see a person's past life, which would mean he would be able to predict what would happen to that person because of Karma. Now a bodybuilder , Big (Andy Lau), was working in a strip bar when he ran into Lee Fung-Yee (Cecilia Cheung). Fung Yee was a cop in the CID who initially busted him for his strip show, but Big became entangled in another police case to catch a murderer when he tried to escape. The event which caused him to abandon his life as a monk has left him with the ability to see other people's karma and it is obvious to him that Lee Fung Yee needs his help.

Big was running away from Lee Fung-Yee's pursuit, when he saw a police dog and has visions of the dogs previous life. The dog was a child who beat up dogs, and it was ultimately shot by a stray bullet meant for the criminal. This was the first time that Big showed his ability to see the past, and later saw the past life of Fung-Yee, a Japanese soldier slaughtering civilians.

Big (after realizing that Fung-Yee was kind-hearted), decided to help her in the investigation of a homicide, but also swore to leave her after they solved the case. After Big had inspected the corpse, he once again demonstrated his ability to see the previous life of the organism, defined as "ability to see the cause and effect". The deceased's, in his previous life, once betrayed the murderer who was killing people now, and before the murderer died, cut off a one-horn beetle's left arm. Big, then, was able to conclude that in the current life, there would be a lady without a left arm who would help the present murderer. In the end Big successfully helped the police to arrest the murderer, and he saved Fung-Yee's life in the process, as well. Her karma gets broken as well. But soon, Lee Fung Yee's karma returns. He also stopped an angry police sergeant who was beating the murderer by saying to him, "One thought Heaven, One thought Hell"(一念天堂,一念地獄).

Fung-Yee, now realizing that she was, in her previous life, a Japanese soldier, made efforts to compensate for the atrocities she committed in her previous life. Deciding to do a good deed before she dies, Lee Fung Yee decides to find Big's childhood friend's killer, and she thinks the killer is hiding the mountains somewhere. She went to the mountains and on the sixth day of her journey, she encounters the killer at some part of the mountains where Big never went to find his friend's killer. The killer runs away from her while she tries to help him. Then, the killer comes behind her, and drags her to a rocky place where she was hit by a rock in the head, and beheaded by the murderer, and we know this because it was recorded by her video camera. Big sees the video after a police officer shows it to him and he gets angry and went to the mountains. When he is on the mountains, he hears Lee Fung Yee's watch. He follows the sound to her buried body. He finds Lee Fung-Yee's body buried in the dirt and her head in a tree. He later finds the killer and battles him. He then finds out that the killer is actually him in the future. If he killed the killer though, the killer would be reborn to kill Lee Fung Yee. Nothing can be brought away, only the karma that follows (萬般帶不走,唯有業隨身). Five years later, Big meets his childhood friend's killer again. This time, though, they hugged and went to the police. At the end, Big became a monk again, Lee Fung Yee becomes alive again and never met Big.

Cast and roles include

* Andy Lau as Big
* Cecilia Cheung as Inspector Lee Fung-Yee
* Cheung Siu-Fai as Inspector Chung
* Chun Wong
* Karen Tong
* Yu Wen Zhong
* Hou Lian Sheng
* He Sheng Wei
* Zhang Meng

ee also

*List of films set in Hong Kong
*List of Hong Kong films

External links

*imdb title|id=0374184|title=Running on Karma
* [ "Running on Karma"] at
* [ "Running on Karma"] at Rotten Tomatoes

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