A dark and handsome true-crime thriller about kidnapping and police corruption in Hong Kong. Once of Jackie Chan's most serious roles, but still overflowing with spectacular acrobatic ... See full summary »
In the mythical land of Huadu, Charcoal Head, a humble boy born to rule an empire must undertake his journey to claim his throne. It is an epic action adventure combining romance, fantasy, comedy and cutting edge Hong Kong style martial artistry.
A hero cop accidentally leads his team into a trap from which he is the only survivor. Drowning his guilt in booze, he is eventually assigned a new younger partner who turns out to have his own secrets.
Two twins are separated at birth, one becoming a streetwise mechanic and the other an acclaimed classical concert conductor. Finally meeting in adulthood they each become mistaken for the other and entangled in each other's world.
Teddy Robin Kwan
An average film at best with poor characters, an unengaging plot and action that is workmanlike but no more than that
With a crime spree occurring across Hong Kong, and all the crimes traced to the work of one major crime syndicate, the police look to focus their resources. Having recently proved how tough and resourceful she is, Officer Hua Yang is sent to help a couple of detectives. It becomes immediately evident that the group is a lot more organised than they expected but Hua shakes off her adviser role and takes direct action but when she discovers that the leader of the group is none other than one Ah Fung, Hua's old boyfriend.
On the basis of the wonderful Michelle Yeoh being in it, I decided to give this film a go to see if it was any good. From the very start I was amused to see how cheap it looked, although it may have aged a little bit as well. As with all these type of films, plot usually comes second to the action and here is no different. The story is not that well delivered and I found myself with too many characters to care about and too little logic in the plot. It did jump around a bit and it relied too heavily on the former relationship between Jessica and Ah but it never bothered to really make us care about either of them as real people or get emotionally involved with them as was necessary if this method was to work. Sadly it didn't work and the film was quite unengaging for the most part.
Of course with good action scenes this shouldn't matter too much, but it doesn't do anything that special on the action front. This is not to suggest it is no good, because the gun play and various fights are reasonably good, it is just that they don't really do anything special and they do lack a certain amount of style. The fights do feel like they were done on a budget and, like the rest of the film, they did lack imagination and effort. The cast didn't do anything that good but in fairness my version was badly dubbed so it is hard to tell. Yeoh is a great actress who I have seen been playful, exciting, sensitive and tragic in many films but here she has nothing to do although one or two of her fight scenes hint at her ability. I never really got into the characters played by Sui-Wong, Yu and Chau as they didn't make much of an impression, although I thought that Wei was good. Bill Tung is there in a small role and does his usual stuff but were they really so desperate to attract an audience that they had to make Jackie Chan demean himself in an unfunny drag cameo?
Overall this is an average film at best. The presence of one or two famous names suggests that it will be better than average but in reality it is all a bit workmanlike and lacking effort. The plot relies on the characters being developed and, when they're not, it means that it isn't very engaging as a story. The action is OK but nothing special and I never went 'wow' or anything like that. The script is average and the performances (dubbed or not) didn't really do anything to improve on the situation Yeoh in particular was disappointingly bland for large sections.
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