Above Standard Hong Kong Action Fare Having Engaging Climactic Scenes.
Dai Sai Aan, "Big Little Eye", is featured in this effective action film wherein a weakly intercalated domestic subplot constricts progression of narrative flow, albeit not to a severe extent. Slight of stature and unlovely Dai Sai is cast here as Hong Kong police inspector "Goony", supervisor of an undercover squad deployed against a Triad controlled prostitution and illegal gambling operation, but after his unit is successful in crippling this criminal group's activity, the gangsters seek vengeance by striking against Goony's family. This occurs as a result of the inability of Goony and his sidekick Nan Ah to apprehend the Triad leaders, especially the vicious Ho brothers, ostensibly and quaintly imported from Europe, performed by Phillip Ko Fai and Tsai Hung (this particular cartel of thugs employs "hired guns" from Netherlands). Goony's pregnant wife is depicted as a simple-minded, shrewish woman who occupies herself by playing Mah Jong with neighbours most of the day, when not nagging at her husband, this naturally a prime reason for his putting in as much overtime as is possible at his work, but he learns that the potentially deadly risk of tangling with the Triad must factor in his love for his young son, and that is what brings the film to an exciting climax. A rickety structured scenario devotes overmuch attention upon Goony's wife who, as an unsympathetic character, thereby fails to provide viewers cause for concern after her welfare. Despite numerous and rather lengthy domestic interludes that interrupt the work's overall rhythm and tempo and reduce dramatic tension, along with occasional camera troubles relating to focus, choreography of action sequences is well-done and picture quality for the DVD version is generally very good. This melodrama has been distributed with several titles: HIRED GUNS and KILLER SCORPION in English, HUNG KIT (Cantonese) and XIONG XIE (Mandarin). It should be noted here that 5.1 sound quality suffers from echo chamber effects in stereo as is too often the case with releases from Golden Harvest. A letterbox print serves to advantage the rapid-fire circuitry of the film's combat scenes. Dialogue is dubbed into Mandarin with available subtitles in both Cantonese and English, the latter having an advantage of making more sense to English language speakers than will the customary fragmented translations found with many Hong Kong produced pictures. Extra supplements and a menu design indicated upon the DVD case are not actually present, a normal situation for Golden Harvest, a company that apparently feels no pressure from demands of accuracy; additionally, upon the case reverse is a thoroughgoing English language summary of the film that basically removes any degree of suspense for those potential viewers who may read it; therefore, one had best not as, for its greatest part, this is an above normal effort, particularly for the Hong Kong crime action genre.
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