When an ambulatory TV news unit live broadcasts the embarrassing defeat of a police battalion by five bank robbers in a ballistic showdown, the credibility of the police force drops to a ... See full summary »
Three people - a criminal, a bank officer and a cop - end up in a catastrophic situation in the midst of a global economical crisis and are forced to betray any morals and principles to solve their financial problems.
A French chef swears revenge after a violent attack on his daughter's family in Macau, during which her husband and her two children are murdered. To help him find the killers, he hires three local hit-men working for the mafia.
Anthony Chau-Sang Wong,
Realizing that he will be defeated in no time during a police showdown, a thug shoots himself to force the cops to cease fire and take him to the hospital. In the hospital, he claims human ... See full summary »
A cop is forced into early retirement due to retinal damage. But after witnessing a bank robbery along with a female inspector - who believes he has acute senses - they team up in hope to solve the case.
After losing control of his car and crashing into a local restaurant, a man loses consciousness on the street. Later, while working on a case, the police's anti-drug division captain, Zhang Lei (Honglei Sun), realizes that the man in the crash is drug lord Tian Ming (Louis Koo). In order to avoid the death penalty, Tian Ming helps the police put a stop to the entire drug trafficking circuit, but just as soon as the police are ready to make a large bust, Tian Ming makes a decision that shocks everyone involved.Written by
In the opening scene when Timmy is driving erratically he vomits on the driver side window. After he crashes the vomit is gone. It is still missing when Captain Zhang arrives on the scene shortly after. See more »
After his meth lab explodes, leaving him scarred and his wife dead, Timmy Choi (Louis Koo) is apprehended by the Chinese police for a crime that warrants the death penalty. In the custody of Captain Zhang (Sun Honglei), Choi sees only one option to avoid execution; turn traitor and help Zhang's undercover unit bring down the powerful cartel that he has been cooking for. As the stakes get higher, it becomes increasing unclear as to who has the upper hand, and who will dictate the endgame.
Director Johnny To is a master of the crime film, and with "Drug War," he's created a near masterpiece of the genre. He never convinces us of being in anything but complete control of his multifaceted thriller, and exudes an unparallelled confidence in every scene and phenomenal set piece.
To's electrifying picture recalls some of the best work of his great contemporaries. "Drug War" possesses the technical brilliance of Scorsese's "The Departed," the ground-level knowledge and surveillance of David Simon's "The Wire," the gritty realism of Michael Mann's best work, and by the end the blistering, double-fisted action of John Woo's prime. These elements don't come together as a derivative; To is a filmmaker at the top of his game, and makes the most of his cast, his influences, the Mainland setting, and a little of the grotesquerie that often has Hollywood shuddering; in a singular whole.
Disparate from most Hong Kong action films, "Drug War" is a methodical, meticulous procedural first, exploiting a street-smart screenplay that knows the Chinese crime scene; and if that statement is indeed false, it never feels less than authentic. Much of the intensity derives from dialogue exchanges, and how rigorous both the cops and criminals try to not get made. Because of this well paced, equally well played dynamic, we never know who we should root for, and that's exactly the point. Mr. To's drama is incredibly intense... but then he pulls out all the stops.
The last 20 minutes of "Drug War" is the show-stopping action set piece of the year. An extended shootout that's brutal, ambitious, and a masterpiece of it's kind. It's a marvel of physical filmmaking that also works as an unexpected plot device, violently flipping our conceived notions of these characters on their ear; clearing the way for a fittingly ironic, ice-cold conclusion.
"Drug War" might just be the best pure crime film of 2013. Technically and narratively stellar, it already seems like a minor classic of the genre.
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