Just your average bloodstained Triad movie
morgoth | omaha, NE | 02/22/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Waise Lee(Xiong) and Alex Fong(Cheng) are considered brothers and are part of a crime family. Because of the outstanding work they have done, it has been decided that their father(the mob boss) will appoint one of them to become the new leader of the gang. Cheng(Alex Fong) is appointed, but he thinks that it should have been his brother. His father gets very angry and orders him to leave after he disagrees. He moves on but there is a gang that takes over his old gang's business in the area he is living in now. Cheng is staying with the sister of this rival gang's leader. He is not a big time gangster or anything, but it is a movie so we just have to believe that anybody can come up in the ranks at anytime. So he has cleaned up his life, but all of this new stuff just kind of falls right on top of him. You just have to sort of go with it. Again, it is a movie, and certainly not a perfect one. Cheng's brother is now the new boss and he says that his brother is not to be harmed. But then, Xiong(Waise Lee) pulls out a new plot point about his other brothers stealing money from their gang. He goes to resolve this before dealing with his brother. This is really just injected into the movie to create a gang war and have a lot of bloodshed on screen. Hey, my kind of movie! A Chinese and a Japanese gang battle it out. But, it is just another Triad movie, so if you know the genre, you can probably fill in a lot of the missing pieces in the story that I left out. Here is a couple lines from the film if you don't know what I am talking about- Gang Leader says-"Why should we open the door?" The other gang leader responds-"How can we talk if the door is closed?". It is like the same movie every time, you just have to go with it. A little more flair than most, which is the only thing that stood out to me. It is worth sticking around to the end. I was not disappointed only because I could tell what kind of movie it was going to be.
It was great to see Lo Lieh as one of the supporting characters. He is old in this movie, but he shows that he can still move in the action scenes pretty well. He is like 50 years old and still whooping on people! Most people will remember him as Pei Mei and he was in just about every other old school kung fu movie ever made. For sure one of my favorite actors up until the last movie he was in. The acting overall is above average for all of the male stars at least. I always love Alex Fong, and Waise Lee gives a very good performance. He is known for being in John Woo movies. Fung Shui-Fan from Sammo's Lucky Stars series stars also. It is directed by Chor Yuen who is famous for his lengthy list of movies that he made at Shaw Brothers. He mainly did movies based on wuxia novels. He is a good director, but his movies can be slow moving. Not your average kung fu director, and I like a lot of his movies. 'Killer Clans' to name 1. Like always, he lives up to being a slow storyteller, but this movie has it's moments.
The action is good. Good gun battles and a couple brawls. Alex Fong looks outstanding in the brief scenes where he gets to show off. It sticks to the guns so the longest real fight sequence is about a minute.
3/5, or 6/10. However people rate movies.
The picture quality from Image Entertainment is very nice. Not perfect, but among the best quality you will find for ANY company that sells foreign movies. Hardly any blemishes at all. Nicely widescreened and good sound quality also. It is really starting to make me mad that they are not including the Cantonese tracks. The synchronization does seem off. It is a small thing but it would be nice to have a Mandarin AND Cantonese track on at least some of their DVD's since this movie seems like it was meant to be seen with the Cantonese sound. I am sure the purists understand."