6.7/10
1,767
13 user 24 critic

Sao du (2013)

Trailer
1:30 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (HD) on Prime Video

A devastating dilemma changes the fate of three cops when an undercover operation against a notorious Thai drug lord goes horribly wrong.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay)
Reviews
3 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A trio of police officers conduct surveillance on a listed company.

Directors: Felix Chong, Alan Mak
Stars: Daniel Wu, Jingchu Zhang, Grace Huang
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In the 1970s, the Hong Kong government enacted a policy that granted each male heir of New Territories villagers the privilege to build a house without paying any dues to the government. ... See full summary »

Directors: Felix Chong, Alan Mak
Stars: Ching Wan Lau, Louis Koo, Daniel Wu
Ji zhan (2013)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Fai, once a world champion in boxing, escapes to Macau from the loan sharks and unexpectedly encounters Qi, a young chap who is determined to win a boxing match. Fai becomes Qi's mentor and... See full summary »

Director: Dante Lam
Stars: Nick Cheung, Eddie Peng, Ting Mei
S fung bou (2016)
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

No sooner is a team at ICAC set up to investigate irregularities/corruption in soccer/football official gaming/betting in Hong Kong before a suspect is assassinated.

Director: David Lam
Stars: Louis Koo, Julian Cheung, Vic Chou
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A stockbroker working with a crime syndicate is hurt in a car accident while attempting to evade a surveillance operative.

Directors: Felix Chong, Alan Mak
Stars: Louis Koo, Ching Wan Lau, Michelle Ye
Beast Stalker (2008)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A traffic accident changed their lives forever. In capturing wanted criminal Zhang Yidong, Sergeant Tang Fei (Nicholas Tse) was involved in a gunfight and car accident that put the criminal... See full summary »

Director: Dante Lam
Stars: Nicholas Tse, Jingchu Zhang, Nick Cheung
Moon to (2007)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A special agent has for 8 years been deep undercover in Asia's lucrative organized crime trade as he plays protégé to one of the key players, Banker. Nick now has but he has started to feel loyalty to his new environment, and to the money.

Director: Tung-Shing Yee
Stars: Andy Lau, Daniel Wu, Louis Koo
Wei cheng (2016)
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

During the warlords era in China, a village located in rural area called Pucheng fell into dangerous situation when its government allocated all its military force to the front line, the ... See full summary »

Director: Benny Chan
Stars: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Tin Chiu Hung, Shuying Jiang
Sin yan (2010)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Policeman Don Lee often works with informants but numerous too-close calls and failed missions cause him to see the world as one betrayal after another - then he meets Guy, and is given a new chance to change his views.

Director: Dante Lam
Stars: Nick Cheung, Nicholas Tse, Lun-Mei Kwei
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Several cops went undercover. Due to some issues, all undercover identities were wiped clean from the police database.

Director: Jazz Boon
Stars: Nick Cheung, Louis Koo, Francis Ng
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A man receives a distressing phone call from a woman who has been kidnapped.

Director: Benny Chan
Stars: Louis Koo, Barbie Hsu, Nick Cheung
Action | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Son Donglu, a newly promoted detective teams up with Guo Zhui, fastest gunman in Tiancheng and Xiaowu, a novice policeman to investigate the mystery deaths in a bullet factory.

Director: Chi-Leung Law
Stars: Nicholas Tse, Ching Wan Lau, Mi Yang
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Ma Ho-tin
... So Kin-chow
... Cheung Tsz-wai
Hoi-Pang Lo ... Eight-faced Buddha
Quan Yuan ... Chloe Yuan
... Yik
Ken Lo ... Bobby
... Hak Tsai
... Tsz-wai's Mother
Christopher Collins ... Lead Mercenary
Bure Li ... Helicopter M134 Gunner
Treechada Petcharat ... Mina (as Poy)
... Mr. Choowit
... Dune Kun
... Interpol Officer
Edit

Storyline

Three lifelong friends working in the Hong Kong Police Department's Narcotics Bureau get caught up in a case with Southeast Asia's most powerful drug lord, but when the sting operation fails, they are forced to make a devastating decision - two can live, but one must die. Five years later, the two vow revenge for their fallen friend, but when they end up competing against each other for their own lives, will brotherhood be sacrificed again? Written by Grindstone Entertainment Group, LLC.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody violence, and drug content | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

5 December 2013 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

The White Storm  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Sam jiu yat saang
Lyrics by RubberBand & Tim Lui
Music & Performed by RubberBand
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Never as compelling as it should be, this increasingly tedious exercise in excessiveness is redeemed only by three strong lead performances
4 December 2013 | by See all my reviews

How often do you get the chance to see three of Hong Kong's most charismatic male actors - Sean Lau, Louis Koo and Nick Cheung - on the big screen together? And just for that very reason, you're probably entitled to go into Benny Chan's crime thriller with high expectations. Yet even though the triumvirate does not disappoint one bit, everything else about the movie set against the backdrop of the fight against illegal narcotics simply comes off underwhelming, so much so that you can't quite help but feel that their combined star wattage is somehow wasted.

No less than five writers have been credited for the sprawling narrative, which casts Lau, Koo and Cheung as childhood best friends who have since graduated into police officers of the narcotics bureau. Lau plays the de facto leader of the group, the most ambitious and headstrong of the lot, who in his role as Chief Inspector Tin also wields authority over his friends. On the other hand, Koo's Chow has been deep undercover amongst the drug dealing triads for some time now, and since risen amongst the ranks to be Hak Tsai's (Ben Lam) right hand man. But he's also disillusioned, especially with his wife expecting a baby, and wants out immediately.

Co-written by Chan himself, the script pits Tin against Chow when a sting operation supposed to be Chow's last mission is aborted at the last minute. The higher-ups want Chow to continue undercover so they can bait a larger fish - the infamous kingpin named Eight Faced Buddha (Lo Hoi Pang) of the Golden Triangle – and Tin reminds Chow of his obligation as a police officer to obey orders. Compared to Tin and Chow, Cheung's role as the soft-spoken Wai only becomes clearer at this point - he's the pacifist among the lot, the one urging calm and reason as Tin and Chow butt heads with each other.

Despite some strong initial reservations, Chow reluctantly accepts his orders to follow Hak Tsai into Bangkok to make contact with the Eight- Faced Buddha via a local dealer (Ken Lo). Needless to say, that operation set in the middle of a dense forested region ends badly - not only does Tin lose one of his men (Ng Ting Yip), he is also eventually forced to make a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea. That impossible moral dilemma at the halfway mark also marks the high point of the movie – not only is it the single most emotionally intense moment, it also marks the culmination of what is easily the most thrilling action sequence of the film.

Structured as two acts, the close of this chapter with a literal bang also represents the point at which the movie quickly goes downhill. A fundamental twist two-thirds into the film that sees the return of a key character from the dead is clichéd to say the least, not to mention the resolution that plots the trio's final showdown with Buddha at a nightclub in Macau. The character beats hardly make up for the plotting - in particular, every moment meant to be poignant seems to proceed on the mistaken notion that it must be a high strung one, meaning that the characters are consistently forced to confront each other by shouting and jostling.

Chan's direction here is also to blame. There is absolutely no subtlety to be found here, with Chan finding it necessary at every turn to crank the volume and the intensity of every scene to maximum. Not only does that make for plenty of cringe-worthy melodrama, it also creates too many moments of unnecessary histrionics. The lack of restraint applies as well to the overindulgent plot, which comes off unintentionally amusing at turns for being pure cliché. And nowhere is the excessiveness more apparent than in the final shootout, which aims for the kind of operatic grandeur associated with Johnnie To gangster movies (think 'Exiled') but falls far short by being simply too ridiculous; indeed, the sheer absurdity of that bullet-riddled showdown undermines what credibility the brotherhood-in-peril narrative had left, which ultimately rings hollow.

Just about the only element - or rather elements - holding the film together are the solid performances of the lead actors. Lau and Cheung prove yet again why they are the best actors of their generation, and despite the film's tendencies, both know absolutely better than to overplay their characters, displaying both nuance and depth in their acting. Koo has, despite his best efforts, never quite been in the same league as his two other male co-stars. His deficiencies as an actor are even more stark - especially in certain scenes where he is called upon to emote, there is a genuine sense that he is trying and perhaps trying too hard.

It's a thorough pity therefore, that despite gathering some of the best acting talents from Hong Kong, this bombastic narco-thriller fails to be as compelling as it should be. Part of the fault lies with the messy script, lacking in the discipline and focus necessary to distil a gripping story of three friends whose bond of brotherhood is put to the test; while another part of the fault also lies with Chan's distinct lack of awareness for excess, and whether in terms of drama or action, the tone is obstinately over-the-top. It isn't Chan's finest moment that's for sure, and seeing as how there is no shortage of similar thrillers like 'Drug War' or 'Protégé', this latest addition is worthwhile only for being the rare opportunity to watch three of Hong Kong's finest actors share the screen together.


6 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial