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Khmer Rouge terrorist Kieron Chow and his unit arrive in Hong Kong for their latest mission. Todd, Chow's son and fiercely loyal right-hand man, sustains a serious head wound. Now a total amnesiac, Todd wakes from a coma to find he's been given a new life, one that may be the death of him. With the help of psychiatrist Shirley Kwan, anti-terrorist officer Mark Chan tries to convince Todd that he is actually an undercover cop sent to infiltrate Chow's group. As fragments of his shattered memory return, Todd is forced to choose between his dark past and this one shot at redemption... Written by
L.H. Wong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
PURPLE STORM has, at its core, a timely and interesting idea. An anarchist, Todd, is injured during a terrorist operation, loses his memory and is captured by the Anti-Terrorist Force. The ATF convince Todd he is actually an undercover agent working for them and hand him back to terrorist leader Soong. But having glimpsed the righteous point of view Todd now harbours doubts about his leader's cause, setting up the protagonists for a climactic showdown.
The problem lies in how inadequately this fascinating idea has been developed. Scenes that could have been so much better - Todd's "reunion" with his (fake) police officer girlfriend and Todd's reunion with his real terrorist girlfriend - are just not explored in the same way that a Hollywood production would have done.
The handicap here is the lazy script by HK schlockmeister Wong Jing. He's a great idea man but just about always fails to put a decent amount of work into the script. And as he's usually the producer too, the poor director and stars have no chance.
The resulting film is very choppy and disjointed. It plays like there are scenes missing from the final cut that would have explained what's going on. Why is that guy trying to decode files on a disc Todd was carrying when he was captured? The ATF already know what's going on. Why are the terrorists hiring a ship, when they simply hijacked one at the beginning of the film? Why does Soong blow up the office building during the hand-over of Todd?
Sloppy film-making with a few good action scenes.
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