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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Equally great with the first part of this incredible saga, 17 July 2002
Author: Bogey Man from Finland
Michael Mak directed this sequel, Long Arm of the Law 2 (1987), to his
brother Johnny's Long Arm of the Law (1984), the first of all heroic
bloodshed films made in Hong Kong. The first film is very gritty and fierce,
and ends in one of the greatest and most incredible gun fight segments in
the history of Hong Kong cinema. It is obvious, that I had high expectations
on this sequel, Arm 2, and the fact is that I am definitely not
disappointed. Arm 2 is not related to first Arm at all, but the story is
pretty similar and involves mainland Chinese going to Hong Kong, rob
something there, and go back to the mainland and never get caught. This is
called the Big Circle and in this sequel, a three guys mainland group gets
out of jail in Hong Kong and can return to home in mainland only, if they
serve as undercover cops for some time in order to track down criminal
groups and perhaps also another Big Circle criminals and thus help the local
police. They agree and get an older undercover cop for assistance, and
that's about the structure of this fierce piece of action cinema. This is
perhaps little more polished than the first film, but it is still very bleak
and brutal, to say the least.
Once again, the action scenes are totally unbelievable and full of fire and mayhem. The action is not as plenty as in the first Arm film, but what's there is equally brilliantly staged and shot. The usual elements of the "heroic" genre are all there since betrayal and honor are the key elements that relate the characters and also eventually become their destiny. There are no happy endings in these films, since the world they depict is not too happy either. Johnnie To's and Andrew Kam's ultra over-the-top The Big Heat (1988) is very apocalyptic and infernal piece of mayhem cinema, and it has really dark vision of world and life, even though the ending is somewhat "happy" in The Big Heat. These Eastern films are absolutely unique and perhaps impossible to equal by any other country and its cinema.
Long Arm of the Law 2 is often little confusing as there are many characters and something's going on all the time, but that is again usual in these films, which open more on each viewing. Long Arm 2 has incredible rage in its action scenes, and there is one particularly brutal and horrific torture scene that is even more brutal than any scene in the first Arm film. These Arm films are very rough stuff even in Hong Kong standars, and fans of tamer actioners won't probably like these bleak and gritty true-to-life action thrillers. These films don't offer entertainment nor funny moments and characters to identify with; these are serious and horribly realistic depictions of life and humans' morals and values in this kind of world. I think Long Arm of the Law 1 and 2 are equally brilliant pieces of action cinema, and they both are almost similar in their merits, albeit part one is the grittier one.
Long Arm of the Law 2 is a 9/10 masterpiece of mayhem action cinema, and these films will without a doubt remain as the greatest films in the heroic bloodshed genre, among some other efforts and masters in the field. Mak brothers prove that there's also other great talents than Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam and John Woo.
Worth watching for the performances from Elvis Tsui, Yuen Yat Chor and Alex Man, 19 April 2009
Author: gorthu from United States
These 3 actors do such a great job in this movie. It would have been
completely stale without them. Ben Lam is the 4th co-star, and he does
a good job, but there was nothing about his performance that made him
stand out like the other 3 actors. Elvis Tsui, Ben Lam and Yuen Yat
Chor are in prison for fighting for their freedom. They are given a job
as undercover gang members and in return they will be able to get their
passport and finally have their freedom. They meet up with Alex Man who
is basically their superior, though he ends up being friends with them
more than their superior. There is one conversation between Elvis Tsui
and Alex Man that is a really great scene. Just 2 guys talking, except
these are 2 actors putting everything they have into their
performances. If there were more great scenes like this it would
probably be a 10 star movie. But unfortunately this is a Hong Kong
movie, and there's just too many things wrong with it. For one, I wish
there was more action. There's hardly any at all. And the main thing
that bugged me was that the scenes don't flow together well. One scene
never seems to lead into the next.
So, if you are a fan of Alex Man or Elvis Tsui, then you may want to take a look at this. Like I said Yuen Yat Chor gives a good performance, but I doubt there's many people that will watch a movie because of a supposed good acting performance from him. I just don't see it happening. And one more thing I have to mention is the torture scene. It's another great scene that stands out in this all too average movie. I don't want to give anything away, so just be on the lookout for it. It's definitely one of the most brutal and realistic torture scenes I have ever seen in a non horror movie.
The picture quality on the Megastar DVD is a little above average and the subtitles are decent.
A very cool gangster film, 4 August 2001
Author: Shanti Green from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
(Long Arm of the Law 2) Now this is tight very tight all for one and one for all, Three guys from mainland china come to Hong Kong desperate and broke to rob a bank, Needless to say they get caught and are recruited by the police to go undercover and penetrate a bank robbery gang. and in a smooth plot twist SPOILER the criminals find out the guys are working for the cops and the cops turn on them. This is a gritty film that has held up well over the years. This film has a cast of no names that add to the realism. The only thing this film has in common with the first Long Arm of the Law is the end believe me there is no happy ending here check it out you won't be sorry
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