Fists flying, Guns Blazing and Non-Stop Action! Donnie delivers another hit!
Wilson Yip accedes as one of my favourite action Directors! Together again with Donnie since they have collaborated first in SPL! This tag team has made wonders in Asian Cinema and it’s going the distance!
Director Yip integrated the plot and sequences without prejudice; shots were even on par with action filmmakers like John Woo, Guy Ritchie, Michael Mann and the Scott brothers. Even making it better as delivery from the casts was remarkable and on the spot! Though only distributed in major areas like Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United States and garnering a box office of $3 million it also has added in its accolades including Best Action Choreography in the 27th Hong Kong Film Awards to Donnie Yen.
A police officer sets his duty in bringing to justice all who defies the law; his duty for his city serves purpose to who he intends to be! But not this one… the film starts with a statement from the main protagonist, stating what is a Cop’s duty? That is to catch thieves and he’s out there to prove it!
Brash, temperamental and full of dedication to the force and public duty, Donnie Yen as Detective Sergeant Jun Ma heads his team the OCTB (Organized Crime and Triad Bureau) of Hong Kong to track down the Vietnamese Triad Brothers who has controlled most of the city’s underworld M.O. (Modus Operandi) murder, drug dealing and trafficking. Donnie plays a role that not only manifests his intense martial arts acumen and diversity but to prove that he can do so much more in this genre of film making!
His partner Louis Koo (Election, Protégé) plays Wilson, a mole for the Triad brothers day to day operations. Living a dangerous life and is given more benefit of the doubt, always on the lookout for his own and to the one he loves.
To provide the villainy, Ray Lui as Archer Sin (even the name speaks for itself) is the eldest of the three whose wit and charm is outplayed by his second brother! Collin Chou (Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions) the middle sibling is Tony, he usually in negotiation with the rival gangs of the business and is also the last man standing (or so it seems) and lastly Yu Xing (Kung-Fu Hustle) as Tiger the youngest and the most brutal!
Driven by vengeance they have killed every witness and conspirator that get’s in their way and is now eyeing the only survivor of their demented schemes. Det. Jun Ma is driven to put an end to this group by any means necessary and no one can stand in his way!
Spectacular martial arts fight scenes were inculcated bringing the police action and drama come to life! Having collaborated before, the two main progenitors of the projects have served both the fans and the audience another certified hit! Very fluid storytelling combined with seamless delivery of angst, crime fiction and retribution which cements it all!
The soundtrack guided by Chan Kwon-Win gives more levity to the scenes as it makes it subtle and melancholic to furious, faster than the eye, gun fights and kick-ass action! While Cinematography provided by Cheung Man-Po helps breathe in the direction on how the action wa on all angles!
Donnie has provided again the diversity in his repertoire by using mixed martial arts which makes it more unrelenting and full of energy. While the Director and the cast had certainly given their own class of acting the ante-up’s the level of Asian cinema to be in its finest! The verdict is two thumbs up! Not your typical martial arts, cops and robbers film. Truly, it even exceeds the contemporary mood even for this adrenaline action film!
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