IMDb > Drug War (2012)
Du zhan
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Drug War (2012) More at IMDbPro »Du zhan (original title)

Photos (See all 9 | slideshow) Videos
Drug War --  A drug cartel boss who is arrested in a raid is coerced into betraying his former accomplices as part of an undercover operation.

Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   4,191 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 35% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Contact:
View company contact information for Drug War on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 April 2013 (China) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A drug cartel boss who is arrested in a raid is coerced into betraying his former accomplices as part of an undercover operation. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
5 wins & 13 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(8 articles)
Drug War (Du Zhan) Review
 (From AsianMoviePulse. 2 November 2013, 4:53 PM, PDT)

Drug War (Du Zhan) Review
 (From AsianMoviePulse. 2 November 2013, 4:53 PM, PDT)

Contest: Drug War (2013) Blu-ray: Sun Honglei Tracks Drug Criminals
 (From Film-Book. 11 October 2013, 6:11 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Taut and gripping from start to finish, Johnnie To's intricately choreographed procedural of a complex anti-narcotics operation pulsates with a gritty and realistic feel See more (22 total) »

Cast

 

Louis Koo ... Timmy Choi Tin-ming
Ka Tung Lam ... East Lee
Honglei Sun ... Zhang Lei
Suet Lam ... Fatso
Yi Huang ... Yang Xiaobei
Siu-Fai Cheung ... Su
Hoi-Pang Lo ... Birdie
Tao Guo ... Senior Dumb
Michelle Ye ... Sal
Wallace Chung ... Guo Weijun
Guangjie Li ... Chen Shixiong
Zi Yi ... Lin
Xiao Cong ... Driver
Gan Tingting ... Haha's Wife
Li Jing ... Junior Dumb
Wang Zixuan ... Ming's Wife
Hao Ping ... Bro Haha
Li Zhenqi ... Uncle Bill
Liu Qi ... Jinhai Anti-Drug Squad Member
Jiang Changyi ... Jinhai Anti-Drug Squad Chief Commander
Yunxiang Gao ... Xu Guoxiang
Wang Siya ... Jinhai Anti-Drug Squad Member
Qin Shiyue ... Jinhai Anti-Drug Squad Member
Yang Yi ... Jinhai Anti-Drug Squad Member
Keung Han Man ... Darkie
Cheng Taishen ... Captain Liu (Erzhou)
Ng Yuk San ... Hatred
Wang Boyang ... The Dumb Brothers' Follower
Tong Qianqian ... Jinhai Anti-Drug Squad Member
Yang Xue ... Jinhai Anti-Drug Squad Member
Ma Jun ... Captain Yu (Jinhai Coast Guard)
Guo Zhigang ... Ming's Senior Bro-in-Law
Zhu Honglin ... The Dumb Brothers' Follower
Gao Xin ... Driver
Ip Kwop Kin ... Jinhai Anti-Drug Squad Member
Yin Zhusheng ... Snake Head
Meng Rui ... Jinhai Anti-Drug Squad Member
Lin Xu ... Jinhai Anti-Drug Squad Member
Yi Lin ... Junior Dumb's Wife
Chan Siu Hei ... Jinhai Anti-Drug Squad Member
Fan Min ... Jinhai Anti-Drug Squad Member
Tan Kai ... Li Shuchang
Yan Ren ... Ming's Senior Bro-in-Law
Qin Bokun ... Jinhai Anti-Drug Squad Member
Yao Gang ... Captain Ding
Wang Yang ... Jinhai Anti-Drug Squad Member
He Tianyang ... Jinhai Anti-Drug Squad Member
Zhao Xin ... Jinhai Anti-Drug Squad Member
Zho Yubo ... Jinhai Anti-Drug Squad Member
Zheng Wanqiu ... Senior Dumb's Wife
Wang Jingyu ... Jinhai Anti-Drug Squad Member
Create a character page for: ?

Directed by
Johnnie To 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ryker Chan 
Ka-Fai Wai 
Nai-Hoi Yau 
Xi Yu 

Produced by
Johnnie To .... producer
Ka-Fai Wai .... producer
 
Original Music by
Xavier Jamaux 
 
Cinematography by
Siu-keung Cheng (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Allen Leung 
David M. Richardson 
 
Production Design by
Horace Ma 
 
Sound Department
José Caldararo .... foley artist
Agustín Cazola .... foley recordist
Benny Chu .... sound supervisor
Bechen de Loredo .... foley recordist
Steve Miller .... sound effects editor
Steve Miller .... sound re-recording mixer
Francisco Rizzi .... foley artist
Stan Yau .... dialogue editor
Ricky Yip .... sound effects editor
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies
Create a character page for: ?

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Du zhan" - China (original title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated R for strong violence, drug content and language
Runtime:
107 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
16 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
Taut and gripping from start to finish, Johnnie To's intricately choreographed procedural of a complex anti-narcotics operation pulsates with a gritty and realistic feel, 13 April 2013
Author: moviexclusive from Singapore

For the uninitiated, 'Drug War' marks acclaimed Hong Kong director Johnnie To's first crime thriller to be shot in Mainland China, an understandably wary prospect considering how his usual sensibilities in the genre are highly likely to run afoul of the Chinese censors. But fans of the auteur can rest easy – To is as sharp as he has ever been here reuniting with his regular screenwriter and producer Wai Kar-Fai, delivering a tense and engrossing procedural around a complex anti-drug trafficking police operation.

To be sure, the subject matter is an extremely risky one – after all, the tough stance that the country has adopted towards drugs means that the authorities are only going to scrutinise a movie about that hot- button topic very, very closely. It is therefore somewhat of a miracle that To manages to remain politically correct without ever being preachy, and even better, to mirror the authorities' no-nonsense approach while offering the kind of nail-biting entertainment perfectly accessible to mainstream audiences.

But then again, we should have expected no less from To, and right from the get-go, we are treated to both Wai Kar-Fai's elegant storytelling and To's classy direction. Cross-cutting seamlessly between two seemingly unrelated series of events, To introduces his audience to Louis Koo's Timmy Choi, who is seen driving away from a factory billowing in smoke while foaming at the mouth, gradually losing consciousness until finally he crashes in spectacular fashion through the glass walls of a restaurant. Meanwhile, Sun Honglei's Zhang is on a dilapidated bus going through a toll booth, whose commuters are really mules transporting drug-packed ovules within their body.

When his partner-in-crime panics after their overheated bus pulls to the side just after crossing the booth, Zhang reveals himself to be no less than the very captain of the narcotics squad. At the same hospital where Zhang and the other drug mules painfully excrete their smuggled goods, Zhang runs into an unconscious Choi, covered in skin lesions and bearing the unmistakable whiff of a drug-making operation. Immediately, Choi is put into surveillance, but Choi's identity only becomes clearer when he is brought into questioning, turning surprisingly compliant as he tells Zhang that he is but a middleman between a rich businessman turned drug dealer Boss HaHa (Hao Ping) and a powerful supplier named Uncle Bill.

Even then, Choi remains an enigma – we're sceptical of his plea to escape the death penalty in exchange for his cooperation – and yet a cautious alliance emerges between the tough grim-faced Zhang and the persuasively suppliant Choi. Keeping the proceedings entirely realistic, To unspools the action through a series of undercover infiltrations, surveillance and stake-outs filmed with the same breakneck urgency and unnerving tension of such real-life operations. Moving from posh hotels to lavish cabaret nightclubs to busy seaports, To switches from location to location without any let-up from a consistently gripping pace.

Yet despite the breakneck pace, each sequence is tautly choreographed. Particularly effective is the pivotal setpiece in the middle section, which sees Zhang masquerading first as Uncle Bill to meet Brother HaHa and then posing as HaHa (the character's signature hysterical laugh included) to meet Uncle Bill's representative. Both close-quarter setups ripple with edge-of-your-seat tension, with Zhang's charade threatening to unravel itself under the villains' scrutiny. Also worthy of mention is the film's climactic shootout in front of an elementary school, as Choi finally reveals his hand as a cool-blooded conniver interested only in his own self-preservation. Though less violent than the usual To actioners, the action is nevertheless exhilarating in its rawness, with To subverting genre expectations of who dies and who prevails.

In true alpha-male fashion, Zhang remains an inscrutable character throughout, defined only by his doggedness when hunting down his targets. Ditto for Choi, who doesn't get any backstory to explain how or why he got into the drug business. Like 'PTU', To keeps his focus singularly on the nuts-and-bolts of the police work at hand, deliberately refusing to let his audience get to know more about any of the characters aside from their relative positions in the unfolding mission. Such a clinical approach may frustrate some viewers, but anyone who's been a fan of his trademark understatement will embrace it – along with Xavier Jameux's pulsing score – as nothing less than To's brand of cool.

Just as certain to delight fans is a nifty twist late into the story that turns the movie into a reunion of sorts for To's regulars – Lam Suet, Gordon Lam, Eddie Cheung, Lo Hoi Pang and Michelle Ye. Of course, that's not to diminish Sun Honglei and Louis Koo's strong lead performances – the former bringing gravitas and an unexpected touch of humour when imitating HaHa's over-the-top behaviour to an otherwise stoic role; and the latter playing both cunning and desperate in thoroughly engaging fashion.

And so despite the Mainland setting, 'Drug War' remains a distinctly Johnnie To movie, using the bleak wintry settings of the Mainland city of Tianjin to lend the film and its subject matter a gritty sobering feel. Eschewing the visual aesthetics of 'Exiled' and 'Sparrow', it is also easily his most commercially accessible action thriller of late, with a documentary-like realism that mirrors Derek Yee's style in another drug-themed movie 'Protége'. Like we've said, To's fans will enjoy this as much as his previous works, and this is a movie that demonstrates once again why he is easily one of the best directors in Hong Kong today.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (22 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Drug War (2012)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Watch it for the cliamx guyfromnowhere
good from start to finish zmarquise
Very original Makarov-324
Why did the mute brothers and Timmy Choi start shooting at each other? tennyrunner
Chinese Cinema Challenge allenctroutman
Mute Brothers sushigang
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Breaking News Fulltime Killer The Equation of Love and Death Invisible Target Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Action section IMDb China section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.