A Hong Kong cop and two American cops are onto a suspected harbor worker and are forced to team up when they discover that the suspect is a witness on the run from CIA agents and their schem... Read allA Hong Kong cop and two American cops are onto a suspected harbor worker and are forced to team up when they discover that the suspect is a witness on the run from CIA agents and their schemers; two corrupt cops.A Hong Kong cop and two American cops are onto a suspected harbor worker and are forced to team up when they discover that the suspect is a witness on the run from CIA agents and their schemers; two corrupt cops.
- the pacing is superb. You watch action films for action - and Yuan Ho-Ping,as is his wont, keeps the movie going at a breathless pace with a fight or chase almost every five minutes.
- Yuan Ho-Ping uses his strict rhythmic parameters so the action is clear and we can enjoy every movement. Some classical moves are dropped in just to make the action a little prettier. Long shots and close ups are used when appropriate and to give variety - all typical Yuan Ho-Ping trademarks and this is what sets him apart from inferior filmmakers in the genre. He also introduces some great novelty fighters - the female foreign fighter who looks like an English teacher with a heroin habit, the crazy eyed foreigner in the alley with the eccentric fighting style and of course Michael Woods.
- The syncronisation of the action and sound effects is SO crisp here and the sound effects have never sounded better - deep body blows and crisp "pak" sounds - music to my ears!
- The soundtrack music is superb! A little bit like the repeated theme of "Halloween" - it's icy and sinister - a delicious backdrop for the brutal and surgically precise action. There's a way that the theme anticipates the action in the way that a repeated theme introduces particularly nasty sequences in a Lucio Fulci film.
- Silence accompanying action. I love the way that characters roll over, across in and out of cars and buildings in silence. It may not have been a deliberate device - but the fact that HK films are shot silent and then dubbed later sometimes results in some very interesting dynamics.
- You enter into a world of claustrophobic and relentless brutality - which slips in and out of a cartoon universe where people take beatings with tire-irons and walk away intact one minute, and end up bleeding and lifeless in lift shafts in another. Yet in this icy universe of remorseless violence there are moments of compassion - for example when the "witness" is allowed to visit his mother - but this touching scene is, once again, abruptly terminated and violence resumes.
On top of the best action you will ever see, there are also the qualities to the film I have listed above. This all results in a quite extraordinary film with a very distinctive feel and ambiance. It's strange - I've never experienced the same kind of quality with any other Hong Kong film. When I first showed this to friends they demanded repeat viewings - it's like a roller-coaster ride that leaves you craving yet another adrenalin rush.
- Nov 28, 2007