7.5/10
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The Longest Nite (1998)

Am faa (original title)
A corrupt cop named Sam handles negotiations between two Triad leaders who plan to join forces. However, he meets a suspicious bald man named Tony, who keeps following him around and disrupting his personal business.

Director:

(as Patrick Yau)

Writers:

(as Szeto Kam Yuen), (as Yau Nai Hoi)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tony (as Lau Ching Wan)
...
Sam (as Tony Leung)
...
Maggie (as Maggie Shiu)
Hoi-Pang Lo ...
(as Lo Hoi Pang)
Fong Lung ...
Mr. Lung (as Lung Fong)
Siu-Lung Ching ...
(as Ching Siu Lung)
Tian-Lin Wang ...
(Guest star) (as Wong Tin Lam)
Mark Cheng ...
Mark - Guest star
Kong Fong ...
Informer - Guest star (as Sunny Fang)
Bun Yuen ...
Sam's Cop Buddy (as Yuen Bun)
Sau Kei Lee ...
Kei-Suk (as Lee Suk Kei)
Suet Lam ...
Cafe Owner's Assistant (as Lam Suet)
Santoas
Kwok Chiu Wu ...
(as Wu Kwok Chiu)
Chak Shun Ha ...
(as Ha Chak Shun)
Edit

Storyline

A corrupt cop named Sam handles negotiations between two Triad leaders who plan to join forces. However, he meets a suspicious bald man named Tony, who keeps following him around and disrupting his personal business.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 January 1998 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

The Longest Nite  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A press event was held for this film where Ching Wan Lau's head was shaved. See more »

Goofs

Despite taking place all in one night Tony Leung's facial hair is different in several scenes. See more »

Connections

References The Great Escape (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

The Chase
by Giorgio Moroder
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great and dark Hong Kong triad film
15 October 2002 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

Patrick Yau is a great and talented director. I haven't seen anything else by him yet than this, THE LONGEST NITE (1997), but his other works include The Odd One Dies and Expect the Unexpected, which have also been hailed by HK fanatics and specialists. However, THE LONGEST NITE alone shows the director's talent and this is easily among the most interesting and memorable HK films of the late 90's.

Tony Leung and Lau Ching Wan are the two leads here. Tony is a wonderful actor with smooth and kind face, yet his character here is anything but nice or kind. He plays a rawly violent and corrupted policeman who solves some mysterious triad war in which he is himself somehow related, too. Also a mysterious bald headed stranger soon arrives in Macau (Lau), and soon these two men are against each other and time. It all happens during one night filled with depravity, violence and seemingly no hope for a better tomorrow..

I think the plot and story is very hard to follow after one viewing and the less you are experienced with English (subtitles), the more times you will have to see this film in order to understand the whole plot and its turns. I have seen this twice now and still there are elements which I cannot yet explain, but they're not so important as the things this film gives and has are already visible to me.

The film lacks every imaginable bit of the usual lightening humor and slapstick attempts. The film is as serious and gritty as they come, and the film is produced by the legendary Johnnie To, a director/producer specialized in this kind of gritty and dark stuff in Hong Kong cinema. One of his most incredible achievements is a triad thriller The Big Heat (1988) starring Waise Lee, which is among my personal all time Hong Kong favourites in its insanity and over-the-top dark and infernal atmosphere. Johnnie has done many other great films, too, which include The Heroic Trio (1993) and its sequel, both directed with the choreography genius Ching Siu Tung.

THE LONGEST NITE features a nice soundtrack which is little like Giorgio Moroder's music in De Palma's Scarface (1983), and it adds very well to the atmosphere of the film. But the strongest element in THE LONGEST NITE is the photography and lightning, which are often very gorgeous in the hands of a talented Hong Kong director. Films like Dr. Lamb (Danny Lee, 1992), City on Fire (Ringo Lam, 1986) or Red to Kill (Billy Tang, 1993) would not be as powerful as they are now without the usage of haunting colors like blue which bath in fog and mist, usually the light, or should I say darkness, coming through windows. The final gun battle between the two protagonists in THE LONGEST NITE is among the greatest scenes I've seen in Hong Kong cinema in recent times, and it features exactly this usage of blue nearly as powerfully as possible.

The violence and brutal world the film is set in is often off putting but never gratuitously graphic and exploitative. There's no blood spraying all over the walls, but realistic aftermath when someone decides to hurt some other. Violence never pays in this film as it doesn't in real life either. THE LONGEST NITE doesn't glorify violence at all, it just depicts people who are so desperate and weak they use it very often, and so the film (and ending) is pretty pessimistic, too. Unlike in many Hollywood action no-brainers, like the Steven Seagal films, in THE LONGEST NITE wickedness and violence always has its consequences and results.

THE LONGEST NITE is very welcome addition to the gritty triad films genre of the Hong Kong cinema and due to its great and believable performances and characters, gorgeous visuals and overall honesty, it will last many viewing times without losing its power and impact. I gladly give this 8/10 and maybe my rating will rise after subsequent viewings.


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