When Lee Sam, a ten-year veteran of the Hong Kong underworld, is released from prison, he dispatches two enemies and goes into hiding in Taipei where his old friend Billy is a boss. Billy ...
See full summary »
When Lee Sam, a ten-year veteran of the Hong Kong underworld, is released from prison, he dispatches two enemies and goes into hiding in Taipei where his old friend Billy is a boss. Billy is a hothead whose rivalries with other gangs put Sam at risk. After bailing Billy out a couple of times, Sam tries to get out of the Mob life. He retires to the coastal town of Tainam, works as a fishmonger, and falls in love with the sister of Crow, a 20-year-old who wants to work for Billy. Can Sam quit violence for good, start a family, and protect Crow?Written by
Since the large economic success of John Woo's A BETTER TOMORROW there is no want of imitations, resulting in a genre unique to Hong Kong cinema - "Heroic Bloodshed", for which a "code of honour" possessed by Triad thugs becomes the spine of a profitable formulary as gangsters are shown to be just as loyal to their friends as they are pitiless to enemies, with this melodrama being a rather typical example of the species. In this instance, the honourable Triad member is Lee Sam (Miu Kiu Wai), freshly released following a three year prison stretch who, after exacting violent vengeance upon those responsible for his stay behind bars, has fled for his safety to Taipei, where he reluctantly goes to work for Billy, an erstwhile confederate but, after saving the latter's skin in several instances, Sam decides to retire from the Triad way of life and becomes a commercial fisherman. At this point, the storyline emphasis segues to young Crow (Mok Siu Chung, with the film's best performance), a betel nut street seller outside of Billy's Taiwan headquarters who longs to become a Triad boss, but after a stint as a low level runner, he is faced with an untenable plight because Billy lusts for Crow's girlfriend, and only Sam will be able to aid him. Hong Kong's Tai Sing Studio has spawned many works in similar vein, and this piece manages to include virtually every cliché common to the ilk, a posture that a solution to a moral dilemma can be found only through violence being merely one of its most prominent flaws, with the DVD version highlighting others, including erratic sound editing, grotesquely inaccurate English subtitles for the Mandarin dialogue along with a meaningful but untranslated portion of text employed for an early scene shift.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this