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 ... See full summary »
A corrupt cop named Sam handles negotiations between two Triad leaders who plan to join forces. However, he meets a suspicious bald man named Tony, who keeps following him around and disrupting his personal business.
Ching Wan Lau,
Tony Chiu Wai Leung,
The film was shown Out of Competition (midnight screening) at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. The film was shown in Grand Theatre Lumiere, the most prestigious theater at Cannes. See more »
When Jet is attacking Long Hair from behind with a machete, he slices his neck but there is no blood on the blade, and Long Hair is not bleeding out from his wound. See more »
From now on, you're welcome in China as tourists. But you can't do business here.
It's our policy.
Mr. Shu is also a gangster. Why can he do business in China?
We made a deal, and he's a patriot.
I can make you a deal. I can be a patriot.
What's your rank in Wo Sing? Not its Chairman?
If I run for Chairman, will you give me what I want?
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Election 2, like its predecessor and the acclaimed "Infernal Affairs", seems to usher a new wave Hong Kong crime cinema. Highly stylized and almost completely devoid of the typical "action" sequences that HK gangster pictures have become associated with, Election 2 is also one of the coldest films in recent memory.
The plot is somewhat unremarkable and predictable, but in this case its how the film is told that makes it stand apart. The underworld depicted by director Johnny To is populated by sullen, disaffected thugs in expensive suits, with no loyalties held sacred but to their insatiable greed. The isolation of these men, (and Louis Koo as Jimmy in particular), as they trade away the remaining scraps of their humanity is a chilling thing to behold. The lighting, music, and sparse sets all echo the overwhelming emptiness and dread radiated by these characters, excellently performed by an ensemble of talented actors. Characters carried over from the first film seem to have developed in the two year interim to Election 2, and have become much more realized than the rather thin caricatures of the original.
Johnny To also seems to have a better grasp of the subject; wisely opting for a more serious approach, he injects a political theme that elevates the material out of the typical power fantasy of gangster films. Although the film certainly has its share of violent scenes, they are a good deal less gory than the majority of "shock cinema" today, and somehow even more harrowing. One particularly chilling scene is almost completely silent, save the blood-freezing soundtrack's eerie drone. Presented in such icy fashion that it becomes savagely artistic, Election 2's violence will stay with you long after the credits run. Despite the fetishistic renditions of violence and Triad traditions, these power obsessed sociopaths are hardly glamorous; their quiet panic becoming palpable as the realization sets in that greed has condemned them all. It is a testament to the director's talent that even without a single likable character for the audience to root for; the film remains compelling right to the bitter end.
Election 2 is an uncompromising film; violent, serious, politically controversial, and spectacularly unsympathetic. It also depends in large part on the viewer having seen its prequel, a similar if inferior examination of the same subject and themes. It is also one of the most interesting crime dramas in some time. Special note must be given once again to the score, which raises the tension significantly, and gives it a unique flavor more akin to a horror movie than a gangster film. Johnny To has shaped a bleak monster out of the typical conventions of crime noir; it leaves the viewer with much food for thought on subjects many would find distasteful, but anyone with an interest in the shallow, ruthless underbelly of organized crime is recommended to give it a look.
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