Two policemen, one by the book, the other by any means necessary, try to topple a drug kingpin. A hit-man who is also after the dealer for a past vendetta, gets mixed up with the two cops amidst his trail of revenge. There is also a subplot concerning several young adults living in slums who are involved with robberies and plan a big armored truck heist (shades of YOUNG VIOLENT & DANGEROUS).
A late new wave entry from Shaw Brothers when they were crumbling from the massive crippling their long time rival Golden Harvest had administered with their modern style thrillers and jaw droppingly dangerous stunt filled movies. By the time Shaw's had began experimenting with new wave cinema styles, it was too late. It's a shame, because this a damn fine, gritty crime thriller with some surprisingly dangerous stunts that rival almost anything that Jacky Chan, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao were doing over at Golden HArvest.
My favorite HK actor and one of the original 5 DEADLY VENOMS, Lo Mang, plays the hot-headed police Sergeant out to bust a local drug lord who runs his operations from a high rise in HKs business district. But his level-headed superior (played by Mu Kui Wai) wants to take the criminal kingpin (played by Wong Yung) down legally. Later in the film, the good cop realizes that you can't always go by the book when dealing with vicious crooks and thugs.
There is a subplot involving some young punks and their criminal exploits to get rich quick and stow away for America. It all ends badly for them during an exciting car chase and bang up. One of two such scenes. This subplot is very reminiscent of the Italian movie YOUNG VIOLENT & DANGEROUS. Chen Pei-Hsi (5 ELEMENT NINJAS 1982) is almost unrecognizable as the ill-fated girlfriend of one of the young thugs.
Frequent kung fu actor Jason Pai Piao plays the supposedly dead hit-man who has returned from Thailand to settle the score with the crime boss and his cohorts (one of which is played by screen heavy Li Hai Sheng). Pai Piao obviously pumped up a bit for this movie and during the action packed 20 minute stunt filled shoot-out, Pai dresses up a bit like Bronson from DEATH WISH 2. Also, it appears Pai has gone the extra mile and done most, if not all his own stunts. Several of them are extremely impressive. Pai pretty much steals the movie from everyone else and he takes a LOAD of PUNISHMENT throughout the movie. You really want to see him kill the bad guy.
There is so much going on in this movie. The bravura 20 minute action set piece in the warehouse is worth the DVD alone. It's a shame the movie going public in HK had, by this time, turned their backs on Shaw Brothers movies deeming them old-fashioned. The same thing having happened to Hammer a few years prior. This movie grossed around 3 million in HK while stunt-laden comedy films from Chan, Hung and Biao (PROJECT A for example released the same year) were grossing around 15-20 million.
This film did win an award at the 28th Annual Asia Pacific Awards for Best Editing.
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