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San lang qi an (1989)

7.0
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Title: San lang qi an (1989)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Kent Cheng ...
Ma Yee-Charn
Shui-Chiu Gan
...
Li Wai
Carrie Ng ...
Lai
Wai-Ming Ng
Tin-Ngoh Seung
Feng Tien ...
Wong Kam-Shek
Elvis Tsui ...
Tang Chi-King
Sai-Kit Yung ...
Kau
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Release Date:

2 November 1989 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Sentenced to Hang  »

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1.85 : 1
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Remake of Kidnap (1974) See more »

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Cat III - where it began
7 December 2006 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

After putting up with a lot of abuse from his boss, Li Wai and two friends of his who also work for the same slave driver, decides to kidnap the boss son in order to collect some ransom money. The kidnap the son, but when he's trying to escape, they accidentally kill him. Still, they want their ransom money and pretend that he's still alive. But when the boss doesn't want to pay up, and instead send the police after the kidnappers, they decide to kidnap the boss instead to get some money out from his family.

Apparently Sentenced to Hang was the first HK movie to receive a Cat III classification, but when watching it, the movie's far from the HK Cat III one's used to. It doesn't have much sex, although one scene features full frontal nudity but it's still far from the extreme. Also when it comes to violence, brutality, gore or the use of drugs, it really has nothing to show for. This on the other hand doesn't mean that it's a bad movie, just don't go get it if you are looking for a 'real' Cat III movie as it will only prove to be disappointing in that case.

Sentenced to Hang deals with three men who work for the same evil boss who keeps abusing them until the day one of them snap. They decide to kidnap the boss spoiled son, but things doesn't go according to plan, and they accidentally kill the guy. Later, when the boss doesn't want to pay up, they decide to kidnap the boss himself in order to squeeze some money from his family. A lot of things happen, and the title reveals how it all ends.

So don't expect a Cat III flick, because the movie really isn't, but is a pretty good crime movie that is fast-paced and has some comedy and drama mixed into it as well. The comical elements are most present early on in the movie, and are kinda similar to a lot of other HK films out there, you know, that special type of HK humour that is a bit too childish at times, but at the same time can be entertaining and funny too.

The story is good and even if I couldn't say that it is suspenseful, at least it's interesting all the way through. All the three kidnappers are pretty likable and also well developed characters, as we get to know them more and more the further the movie goes. So even if they are the bad guys, you can't help but to root for them. Sentenced to Hang was also based on a true story which makes things even a little more interesting.

A good, entertaining and yet tragic movie, that has some OK and some not that great HK type of humour, but that is first and most an above decent crime drama. Recommended.


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