"Hard Romantiker" plays a bit like a Yakuza film for the teen set. The "gangsters" are young and arrogant, and they all aspire to be professional criminals. The film revolves around 'Gu,' the blond "James Dean-like" young thug, who has no fear, and is not shy about cracking someones head open with any blunt object at hand. This is a high octane film with wall to wall style, and featuring some nasty violence, a lot of it directed at young women; Western audiences not used to seeing men casually beat women's faces in, might be a little uncomfortable, but for those of us used to CAT 111 Hong Kong cinema, this won't be new territory. I saw "Hard Romantik" as a kind of 'primer' for harder, more adult gangster films like "Ichi the Killer." But this is a solid, highly entertaining delinquent/gangster movie in it's own right, and I am surprised that it is not more well-known.
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