Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) investigator William Luk and Joint Financial Intelligence Unit (JFIU) officer Lau Po-keung are respectively investigating a corruption and ... See full summary »
The story follows Chen Mo, the bar owner and 'ferryman', as he is slowly facing his own traumatic past, whilst helping the people around him, including his co-partner Guan Chun, the singer Ma Li and the neighbor Xiao Yu.
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung,
A successful return to classic Hong Kong action-thrillers of the eighties and nineties
Europe Raiders is a quite entertaining action-thriller with strong martial arts sequences that comes around with a major and quite efficient twist in its surprising conclusion. The movie revolves around an invention that makes it possible to track down terrorists around the world. This tool has however been misused by the Central Intelligence Agency and its inventor died in grief and regret. Many years later, the inventor's very intelligent daughter seeks vengeance and manages to steal a part of the invention. The inventor's former bodyguard and friend cooperates with his female colleague and love interest in order to bring the tool back for the Central Intelligence Agency. To achieve this goal, the duo must cooperate with the inventor's imprisoned son whose goals are quite shady. Quite soon, a family drama unfolds and leads to a brutal showdown.
There are many positive elements about this movie that reminds me of the glorious days of Hong Kong cinema in the late eighties and early nineties. First of all, the film has fluid pace and a perfect length. Secondly, the dynamic martial arts elements are performed in a very grounded way which give the movie a more realistic touch than similar efforts. Thirdly, the characters are quite interesting as one cares for the gentle yet determined bodyguard and his quirky yet charming colleague but also for the desperate daughter and mysterious son of the sympathetic inventor. Fourthly, the locations are quite interesting as the film takes place in numerous beautiful cities in Italy. Fifthly and most importantly, the film comes around with a twist that I didn't see coming but that made sense to me and ended the film on a very high note.
A few elements need to be criticized as well. There are too many artificially flavored special effects in this film. This still looks cool in the opening sequence that could come from the James Bond franchise but the final showdown ressembles a video game rather than an actual movie. The depiction of the Central Intelligence Agency members and their objectives remain relatively shallow as they are quickly stigmatized as bad guys without adding any depth to it. The plot seemed to be somewhat shallow until the final twist turned it around in a most positive way.
In the end, I can recommend the movie to those who like and miss Hong Kong action-thrillers of the eighties and nineties. Europe Raiders gives you everything you need from breathtaking fights over intriguing characters to a story with a major twist. Tony Leung convinces as cool protagonist while Tang Yan, who might have her breakthrough with this role, complements him with breathtaking charm and beauty. Ignore the negative reviews and enjoy the wild ride.
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