4 user 6 critic

First Option (1996)

Fei hu (original title)
Hong Kong action thriller, about the Hong Kong Police Department's Special Duties Unit. When a raid by customs officials goes drastically wrong, the SDU are called in to deal with the ... See full summary »


Gordon Chan


Hing-Ka Chan (as Chan Hing Kai), Gordon Chan
2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Michael Wong ... Officer Don Wong (as Michael Fitzgerald Wong)
Gigi Leung ... Inspector Minnie Kwan
Damian Lau ... Inspector Lau
Kathy Chow ... Sue
Tak-Kwong Chan ... Chief Kwong (as Stephen Chan Tak Gwong)
Man Biu Lee ... SDU member
Kwong Kim Yip Kwong Kim Yip ... Forensics tech
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Brian Banowetz ... Albert
Anthony Carpio Anthony Carpio
June Chan ... Angel
Wai-Man Cheuk Wai-Man Cheuk ... Customs officer
Alex Cheung Alex Cheung
Chun Hung Cheung Chun Hung Cheung ... SDU member
Hung On Cheung Hung On Cheung ... Recruit
Joe Man Kwong Cheung Joe Man Kwong Cheung ... Joe


Hong Kong action thriller, about the Hong Kong Police Department's Special Duties Unit. When a raid by customs officials goes drastically wrong, the SDU are called in to deal with the ruthless mercenaries responsible, but before long the operation is derailed by a series of inter-departmental rivalries that could cause more innocent lives to be lost. Written by IvanWong

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hong kong | swat | remake | sequel | See All (4) »


Drama | Action


See all certifications »



Hong Kong


Cantonese | English | Thai

Release Date:

14 September 1996 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

First Option See more »

Filming Locations:

Hong Kong, China

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?

Alternate Versions

Released in Germany in four different versions:
  • "First Option", 86min, 18 (Initial Video Release
  • "Operation Panther Force", 84min, 16 (To-Buy-Video)
  • Both versions were run on Pay-Tv, both titled "First Option"
  • TV-Version was retitled "First Option: Operation Panther Force", 84min, 16
See more »


Followed by The New Option (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Not the typical Hong Kong action movie...favors realism over style
13 December 2005 | by trancejeremySee all my reviews

A fair amount of movies from Hong Kong about about the "PTU", or Police Tactical Unit, basically their version of SWAT. But (at least the ones I've seen) like most SWAT movies in Hollywood, they tend to eschew any realism in favor of style.

This is a very interesting exception. Perhaps foreshadowing the burgeoning methamphetime problem, a PTU unit in Hong Kong first must confront a heavily armed gang of drug dealers who have a gigantic load of meth, then a seemingly police trained gang of thieves. And at the same deal, deal with an investigative unit that keeps wanting to join in on the gun fights, despite being hopelessly outclassed.

The action isn't non-stop, but there are at least 3 big gun fights, the finale of which is by far the most impressive. And what's impressive is that in all of the gun fights, actual tactics are used. Not just the hero running in with a pistol in each hand and shooting every bad guy (not that there is anything wrong with that, at least if its Chow Yun Fat). Actual talk about real firearms and military hardware, too. And teamwork.

The acting is interesting. It's not bad, but the lead actor speaks in English all the time (or mostly), while all the others mostly speak Cantonese. I guess because while Asian, the lead is from the US. Since I don't speak Cantonese either, I watched it with English subtitles, and it was weird having subtitles for the English parts in English (which I didn't need).

Also interesting is that it features a couple other American characters, and they can actually act. (Usually it seems like they just pick a random American tourist to play Americans).

The main character also quotes Yoda. Would have been better if he did it in a Yoda voice. But I thought it was amusing.

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