The year is 1963, an illegal immigrant named Ho (Donnie Yen) sneaks into British-ruled Hong Kong. Equipped with guts and combat skills, he plunges into the underground world getting into constant conflict with rivals. After many adversaries, the once good-natured man is physically crippled and turns into a monster more atrocious than all the most corrupted cops and ruthless drug dealers. Ho eventually emerges as the most powerful drug lord under the control of Chief Detective Sergeant, Lee Rock (Andy Lau). However, with the establishment of Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) by the law enforcement in 1974, Rock is forced into premature retirement. But Ho still insists he would not be stopped as he determines to become the sole dictator of the drug empire.Written by
Originally conceived in 2014 by Jing Wong, with the intention of Nick Cheung and Andrew Lau as lead actor and director respectively. But due to scheduling conflicts, the project was put aside. See more »
In the English subtitles, Chubby disparagingly compares Lee's kid brother to Steve Martin. In the mid-to-late 1960s, when this takes place, Martin was not yet a popular performer. In fairness, this may have been a error by the subtitler, with the original Chinese version featuring a more timely comparison. See more »
Obviously, the movie "Chasing the Dragon" is not a remake of the 1991 movies "Lee Rock" and "To be Number One". Instead, it borrows their main protagonists and antagonists, and tells a completely different story. In some sense, "Chasing the Dragon" is a reboot of the gangster epics.
The production design, music score, action sequences and acting performances are most notably brilliant. The action sequences are unexpectedly brutal and bloody, and really stun me from time to time. Donnie Yen has long established himself as one of the best martial artists of all time, and here in "Chasing the Dragon" he gives an almost career-best emotional performance, even better than that in "Rogue One". The acting of Andy Lau, Kent Tong, Kent Cheng, and Ben Ng is fantastic as always.
On the other hand, the plot and the editing are not satisfying. Wong Jing is not a talented filmmaker. Some scenes simply lack consistency and credibility.
In a nutshell, the rating for this movie is 7/10.
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