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Long zai jiang hu (1998)

A low level gangster in Hong Kong gains new respect after saving a boss's life in a gang fight. Despite his wife's death in this attack, he appears to be moving up in the Triad family until... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Wai Cheung-Dee
...
Sandy Leung
Suki Kwan ...
Ruby Kwan
...
Prince
...
Michael
Joe Tak-Chung Ma ...
David
...
Skinny
Frankie Chi-Hung Ng ...
Fai
Ben Ng ...
Crazy Ball
Michael Wai-Man Chan ...
Uncle Hei (as Michael Chan)
...
Uncle Pao
Tian-Lin Wang ...
Uncle Fa (as Tin Lam Wong)
Angie Cheung ...
Cindy
Dennis Chan ...
Judge
Danise Chan ...
Fifi
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Storyline

A low level gangster in Hong Kong gains new respect after saving a boss's life in a gang fight. Despite his wife's death in this attack, he appears to be moving up in the Triad family until he discovers the other bosses are not looking out for him when he is double crossed and the gangster he previously hospitalized in the gang fight comes back for revenge. Written by RandyO

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9 November 2001 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

A True Mob Story  »

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1.85 : 1
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You're My Woman
Performed by Andy Lau & Kenny G
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Deconstructs the myth of the 'honorable Triad'
30 January 2000 | by See all my reviews

A TRUE MOB STORY (Long Zai Jiang Hu)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Sound format: Dolby Digital

Wong Jing's commitment to schlock cinema may not be widely admired in HK film-making circles, but he's still capable of turning out worthwhile potboilers like A TRUE MOB STORY, which he wrote, produced and directed. Andy Lau plays a low-ranking Triad mobster who loses his nerve during a gang fight while saving the boss's son (Mark Cheng) from a rival gangster (Ben Ng), an incident which results in the death of Lau's beloved wife. Unable to cope with the subsequent demands of his Triad lifestyle, Lau becomes an unwitting pawn in the hands of his ungrateful superiors, and when Ng comes looking for revenge, they abandon Lau to his fate. Further treachery is revealed when Lau - who is virtually penniless and beholden to the gang for his pitiful income - discovers that the video CD factory which Cheng had licensed in Lau's name is actually a massive cocaine distribution center, thus launching a tragic sequence of events which finally restores Lau's convictions and enables him to plot an elaborate revenge against all those who have betrayed him...

The casting of poster-icon Lau is central to Wong's blatant deconstruction of the 'honorable Triad' myth popularised in the mid-1980s by directors like John Woo; Lau's innate decency and his natural aversion to violence is frequently contrasted with the vulgar excesses of his fellow gangsters, most of whom are portrayed as reptilian thugs with no respect for anything but wealth, power and brutality. Lau's ultimate redemption is provided by Gigi Leung, his charming co-star from the unexpected smash-hit FULL THROTTLE (1995), playing a barrister whose ambivalent feelings for Lau threatens her somewhat strained relationship with fiancé Alex Fong (effectively understated in a difficult role), who also happens to be the head of the local Organized Crime and Triad Bureau! The breathless narrative is prone to sudden outbursts of blistering violence, but the fight scenes are more chaotic than extravagant (the "Young and Dangerous" series has a lot to answer for!), and the film is obliged for the most part to coast along on the strength of the performances, which are uniformly excellent. Given that the script is supposed to be based on 'true' events (hence the title), Wong goes well over the top on occasion (check out the judge's reaction to Lau's manufactured display of 'nobility' during the first courtroom sequence!), and his film has none of the myth-making grandeur of other recent Lau vehicles like THE ADVENTURERS (1995) or SHANGHAI GRAND (1996), but it passes the time amiably enough whilst upholding all the familiar traditions of this particular sub-genre.

(Cantonese dialogue)


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