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An undercover cop badly injured in a raid is blamed for the raid's failure and thrown out of the police department. His injuries result in his being paralyzed form the waist down, and doctors tell him that if he doesn't have an operation within a few months, the paralysis will be permanent. His friends in the police department decide that, since the underworld was responsible for their friend's injuries, the money for the operation should come from them, and they set out to get it. Written by
You won't believe your ears as HIT TEAM (Dante Lam's CHUNG CHONG GING CHAAT from 2001) unleashes a virtual film budget full of lead in this relatively formulaic cop thriller that still manages to pull some excitement from an already explored themes.
When one of their cop partners faces paralysis as the result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time on an undercover mission, four friends band together -- three of them resigning in protest over the police dismissing the injured comrade -- in an attempt to come up with enough money for the necessary treatments and surgery. Their plan is simple: steal the money from the exact thugs involved in the undercover mission.
What they don't count on is the Hit Team, a special division of the police force dedicated to solving crime involving heavy artillery, of which the vengeful friends have plenty thanks to their fourth friend -- the one who stayed on the force happens to manage the police artillery.
Fast, frenetic, and fun, HIT TEAM owes a lot of its inspiration to John Woo, Walter Hill, and, quite possibly, Michael Mann (the film's climax has a set-up that is almost lifted out of Hill's 48 HOURS, and one of the film's major gun battle action sequences is strikingly reminiscent of Mann's work in HEAT). This is a film where the ending is predestined; the tension builds as the viewer tries to understand how the good guys are going to convince the police that what they're doing is serving not only their injured comrade but the greater good as well.
The transfer is quite good, with only a handful of grainy shots that probably were originally bad images. The sound is crisp, and you can enjoy every gun blast in the peace and quiet of your home. The subtitles are very good; if they have any failing, it is the common problem that some translations simply carry too much information in the flash of an eye -- I found myself reaching for the remote, rewinding, and rereading what was said a half-dozen times.
Those concerns aside, HIT TEAM definitely deserves to be a HIT!
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