Nathan Waggenspack’s review published on Letterboxd:
Lots of what makes Wong Kar Wai great can be found in 2046. Interestingly, I think it is his choice of connecting this film to In the Mood for Love, which has basically all of the best Wong can offer, that is its biggest error.
2046 picks back up with a bitter Chow Mo-wan after the trying times of In the Mood for Love. He does lots of womanizing and is not a particularly good person because he's not close to being over losing the woman he loved. The film follows a few of his more significant encounters, as he goes from being a pretty one-sided asshole to deciding he'll treat women and himself better.
This story on its own would be fine, but in connecting it's protagonist with that of In the Mood for Love, it falls apart. Tony Leung's character was so mature and understanding about his situation, that it's hard to believe he would go so far in the opposite direction.
Leung is still so good in this film, and Zhang Ziyi gives a fantastic performance as one of his lovers. There are beautiful relationships and the film is beautifully shot, including it's sorta inaccessible sci-fi story (written by Chow).
I like to avoid comparing different films as best I can, but 2046 begs you to, and comes up short.