When an ambulatory TV news unit live broadcasts the embarrassing defeat of a police battalion by five bank robbers in a ballistic showdown, the credibility of the police force drops to a ... See full summary »
Three people - a criminal, a bank officer and a cop - end up in a catastrophic situation in the midst of a global economical crisis and are forced to betray any morals and principles to solve their financial problems.
Police inspector and excellent hostage negotiator Ho Sheung-Sang finds himself in over his head when he is pulled into a 72 hour game by a cancer suffering criminal out for vengeance on Hong Kong's organized crime Syndicates.
When an ambulatory TV news unit live broadcasts the embarrassing defeat of a police battalion by five bank robbers in a ballistic showdown, the credibility of the police force drops to a nadir. While on a separate investigation in a run-down building, detective Cheung discovers the hideout of the robbers. Cheung and his men have also entered the building, getting ready to take their foes out any minute. Meanwhile, in order to beat the media at its own game, Inspector Rebecca decides to turn the stakeout into a breaking news show. Written by
BREAKING NEWS is yet another JOHNNY TO film exploring the theme of honour among thieves
BREAKING NEWS is yet another JOHNNY TO film exploring the theme of honour among thieves. Earlier successes included THE MISSION and FULL TIME KILLER; others would certainly come to mind if I were to peruse his filmography but you can do that yourself on www.IMDb.com!
Mr TO and the CREATIVE WRITING TEAM of MILKWAY have a habit of not giving the viewer a lot of information, and letting the visual elements that define cinema take precedence.
The opening sequence is very tightly and cleverly shot and edited, so much so that it is a pleasure to sit back and play it over again.
That first sequence introduces most of the protagonists, at least those who will do battle; the subsequent act introduces the upper levels of policedom, who decide to stage a publicity coup.
The need for more effective policing to ensure the safety of citizens should be paramount, but the woman in charge (KELLY CHEN) is every bit as ruthless as the gunmen in her sights.
Caught in the middle is DETECTIVE CHEUNG, the police officer in charge of the initial, disastrous stakeout that sets the story in motion.
Every one seems to want to save face: the thieves refuse to surrender even when the odds seem insurmountable; DETECTIVE CHEUNG becomes more an avenger or a vigilante than a lawman, and refuses to back down, even when ordered to desist and give over to SDI, while CHEN in the safety of her control vehicle, uses technology and superior firepower to prove her worth to her superiors.
JOHNNY TO and his team must take pride in making films where the viewer must EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED (a superior policier starring the wonderful LAU CHING WAN). BREAKING NEWS is no exception: there are several twists; scenes of quiet humour, which manage to humanize the villains of the piece, and of course, those nice touches that ensure some memorable characterizations.
By the time the credits roll, everything has come together, and the muddle of the various conflicts is resolved, quite eloquently.
I cannot quite fathom the wide variety of music chosen for this film but it all seems to work.
BREAKING NEWS is an entertaining 90 minutes, and certainly does not wear out its welcome. Now that the anamorphically enhanced DVD is out, you can watch it more than once, to savour all its nuances.
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