A police officer infiltrates a triad, not knowing that another policeman is also working for the same gang.
I generally don’t tend to watch a great deal of films from Hong Kong, but this was yet another course film. While I wasn’t gripped from the get-go, it certainly proved to be a taut thriller with a pulsing soundtrack and razor-sharp editing.
It packed a lot into 97 minutes, that’s certainly true. All of the acting was top-notch and watching this has made me want to explore Hong Kong cinema more. I didn’t really connect with any of the characters and any elements of emotion which were likely highly important fell by the wayside for me. That isn’t really a bad thing, although the film had nuances which honestly surprised me in a film where violence and death is likely to take precedence over all else.
The main protagonist, Inspector Lau (Andy Lau) was brilliant and so unexpected. He was razor-sharp, swift and even a little bit likeable despite being the “bad guy”. I recognized Lau from his role in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, as well as recognizing Anthony Wong from his role in The Painted Veil.
It’s interesting that the film is part of a trilogy so I might explore the others at some point in the future. I’m not that interested in watching The Departed after realizing that it is an American remake of this film. If anything, I would not only end up watching the two films for vastly different reasons, but also not really explore other films from different countries at the same time.
However, that being said in this film there were too many montages which I suppose were supposed to incite feelings of euphoria / sadness / happiness but it just got really annoying and detracted from the main thrust of the plot which was quite watertight aside from this.
MY RATING: *** / *****