After reading a disparaging review of Hunted Hunter. I was prepared to deal with the fact, this could be the first Yuen Biao movie which was actually very bad. I'm glad to say that the reviewer was totally wrong (and must have been an idiot).
After an 11 year gap Yuen Biao teamed up again with director Ricky Lau (who directed Yuen Biao in the all-time classic Mr Vampire 2). The storyline is about a security guard (stationed by a Hong Kong company in the Philippines) who is framed for the death of a woman. After receiving the death penalty in the Philippines, Yuen Biao manages to escape.
This film is incredible. First of all Yuen Bun (who choreographed the poor Jet Li vehicle Once Upon a Time in China 3) does a terrific job with the martial arts choreography. Although 2 of the fight scenes are in slow motion, it emphasises Yuen Biao's wonderful fighting skills. Yuen Bun choreographs the fighting in the vein of Yuen Biao's all time classic film Righting Wrongs. The fighting is realistic and savage and extremely brilliant. In fact, Yuen Bun was very unlucky, in my eyes not to be nominated for a Hong Kong film award for the Action Direction.
However the film is nearly ruined by two Phillipino actors who wouldn't be allowed even on the set of Sunset Beach. Also the fighting skill of one of the Phillipino actors is so bad, so stilted and so slow is was very painful.
Thankfully, this turned out to be a minor quibble. First of, the film is filmed in an X-Files style of camera work. This is brilliant for this kind of film and hooks you until the end of the film. The lighting is sometimes very dark, very appropriate too for this seminal masterpiece.
Director Ricky Lau gives an immaculate, flawless direction (just like in Mr Vampire 2) which surely makes him one of the most talented directors in not just Hong Kong but in the world. Ricky Lau draws immaculate, flawless performances from the cast, especially Yuen Biao who can so subtly give of his feelings without saying a word. The rest of the cast, apart from the appalling two Phillipino actors, are flawless. Much praise must go to Jessica Hester, (who plays Yuen Biao's wife, who despite believing him, thinks of divorcing him) who not only is so beautiful, but is a fantastic actress as well. In fact the scene where Jessica Hester's character visits Yuen Biao in prison and gives him a burger, and while he eats the burger she shouts at him saying he doesn't respect her and then notices that he has a chain with their wedding ring on it is an all-time classic.
All in all, this film really is an all-time classic, with flawless direction from Ricky Lau, breathtaking action direction from master choreographer Yuen Bun, two wonderful performances from Yuen Biao and the beautiful Jessica Hester and wonderful support from the supporting cast (apart from the two Phillipino actors). This is a must-see film. An all-time classic. This could be the last classic film (probably not though!) from Yuen Biao so it's a must.
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