Seven years after the apparent death of Chen Zhen, who was shot after discovering who was responsible for his teacher's death (Huo Yuanjia) in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. A mysterious ... See full summary »
In this prequel to Mou gaan dou (2002), Chan Wing Yan has just become an undercover cop in the triads while Lau Kin Ming joins the police force. Both the triads and the police find an enemy in a rival crime boss.
Anthony Chau-Sang Wong
A War Named Desire is a well done Hong Kong triad gangster movie (set in Thailand). It is rather violent, but it is not a non-stop action movie, it is a violent gangster drama. This is a movie similar to the gangster movies by Johnnie To (Milkyway productions) and if you like The Longest Nite and A Hero Never Dies, I am convinced that you will also like A War Named Desire. There is no silly HK humor in A War Named Desire, it is serious all the way.
The story is never boring or too slow but Alan Mak, the director still manages to develop the main characters so that they become real people with emotions, people to care about which makes the movie more engaging. It is interesting to see the two main characters, the brothers played by Daniel Chen and Francis Ng. How will the younger brother (Chen) react to his brothers gangster activities? Is the older brother just an emotionless gangster? Both Chen and Francis Ng does a fine job acting, they are unusually believable and Gigi Leung is also good as a dangerous femme fatale. It is also nice to see the locations in Thailand for a change and there are good scenes from the celebrations of the traditional Thai New Year (in April if I am not mistaken),especially the knife scene with Gigi Leung.
The last 30 minutes of the movie consists of one of the best final gun battles ever filmed and we get to see many nice bloodsquibs when the bullets enter the bodies. Before that there is one of the best death scenes I have ever seen, a tragedy on the back of a Toyota pickup. Scenes like these makes this movie hard to forget.
The photography is also very good, sometimes beautiful and it is obvious already from the very first scene that this is a well made quality movie with high production values.
If you like A War Named Desired, I can also recommend The Odd Ones Die and the thai gangster movie 2499 antapan krong muang (2499 Dang Bireley's And Young Gangsters) who is about a real life thai gangster, active in the 50's (hence the title, the thai year 2499 is approximately 1950).
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