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 »
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,
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 »
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
"Jinhai" is actually "Zhuhai". At the end of the movie, the street war happens at the side of dormitories of BNU - HKBU United International College. See more »
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 »
I have to confess here in Canada I have no previous exposure to films by Hong Kong directors Johnnie To. Obviously he has done good work before but I just did not have the chance to see them. 'Drug War' was shown in a local art-house cinema and my like-minded friend alerted me to it.
Well, this was an interesting film experience - a Hong Kong director doing a police/drug dealer drama based in mainland China. Although other fictitious names were used for the cities, it is obvious the final, major shootout took place in a main street in Tianjin, a large city not far from Beijing. And much has been said about the long, protracted shoot-out scene toward the end, done in the John-Woo-ish manner.
I do not know if the version shown in mainland China - apparently the film did well in the box office there - is the same version that I saw in Canada. However, I suspected the China version has to be slightly edited. Still, (Spoiler Alert!) Johnnie To managed to get a film approved for the Chinese audience despite breaking one important rules: four desperadoes gunning down a large number of police officers, male and female. Now this used to be a big no-no in China. The police had to come up on top and the bad guys punished. The mass killing of cops was never presented to any screen in Chinese cinema. And then there is the lesser scene of RMB (Chinese currency) bills being burnt in place of 'ghost money' to honour the dead. Now this may just be part of drama but one can also argue about its possible political significance.
All in all, for a cops-against-bad-guys film this is well directed, with action scenes well staged and the cops and criminals well portrayed. There are also finer moments exploring humanity - e.g. a drug dealer's wife, fatally shot, still struggled to put her high-heel boots back on while dodging bullets. The ending is a tad depressing but is mostly likely closer to reality.
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