Very accurate weapons handling & tactics for a movie
K. Ip | The World | 04/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For a wild action film, First Option features unusually accurate tactics and weapons-handling. This is likely due to the real-life SDU members consulting on the picture. Also, unlike John Woo and his other famous Hong Kong contemporaries, director Gordon Chan has always leaned towards authenticity in his action scenes. You can see the pinnacle of this approach in "2000 AD", a more recent Chan film that features stunning shootouts. But First Option is certainly an action-packed film as well. Definitely a must-see for fans of military/specops movies.One note about the casual wear outfits: They are realistic. If you ever bother to research beyond glossy promotional photos, you'll see that real military and SWAT units can and do often wear civilian clothing during operations. Whatever works best for the situation. That's the whole point of these unconventional units! In this case, they're operating in a tropical, urban environment. Jeans & t-shirt are comfortable, sturdy, inconspicuous and a lot more appropriate in the heat than full hooded flame resistant jumpsuits. And they are not missing any of their important gear (assault vests, pouches, holsters, weapons, etc). It's funny that when a film tries to be LESS flashy and movielike that it gets accused for being unrealistic! As for the SEALs being beaten in the film, I disagree that they were beaten "easily". In fact, they defeat the SDU at one point and there's a scene where the SDU discuss the fearsome reputation of the SEALs. When the SDU finally triumph, it's far from "easy". But last I checked, no training in the world makes men bulletproof. Just because the SEALs have a superhuman reputation, you shouldn't start believing that only kryptonite can bring them down. The ultimate triumph of the SDU is quite reasonable given the way the scenarios are set up in this film."
Not as good as The Final Option, but still very strong.
D. Mok | Los Angeles, CA | 05/05/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First Option is a much larger-scaled prequel (actually, even the term "prequel" is used loosely here, the only real connections between the films being the Michael Wong character, here called "Don", and sidekick "Joe".) that ups the ante on the action sequences but isn't as nuanced an exploration of life in Hong Kong's elite police SDU. Nevertheless, First Option contains more than enough character depth, tension, and expert pacing to rank among the best films ever made in Hong Kong.This story focuses much more on the Michael Wong character. He is once again physical, edgy, and charismatic, a beefier and less romantic version of Chow Yun-fat, if you will (and English-speaking, for the most part). Gigi Leung does well as the pseudo romantic interest. Director Gordon Chan, the John McTiernan of Hong Kong, is again the master of pacing and dialogue, his lines ringing out crisp and intense, and his eye for detail in action sequences intoxicating. The only dud in the writing department is the final exchange between "Rick" and "Don" -- sounds like a rhyming game or something! Small dent in an action-film masterpiece that keeps things moving and respects its characters."
iamanarmyofone | West Point, NY | 02/12/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...Gear is expensive and hard to comeby. It doesn't matter who your are in the end you gotta make do with what you got. Jeans are high quality. Your beloved SEALS wore them in Vietnam. Swat teams and special units need to be big. That is not in the least bit unlikely. SEALs are probably the best at DA (direct action). They are young, tough and pumped full of macho Hooyah ism. However, against a trained numerically superior force they would be forced to evade or be over run. And they really didnt do all that bad. They caused more cassualties than they took.Most unlrealist thing was the size of the seals. Being that big and pure muscle you sink like a ruck. Seals a buff, but they are built for endurance along with strength.In the end this a a movie, the CQB was well done and alot of things were technically correct. However this is a movie."
Gordan Chan + Michael Wong = A Real SDU Moive
D. Mok | 04/10/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here is the story of the moive. The custem service of HK investigating a drug dealer which has very strong weapon. They formed a special unit with HK police SDU to arrest through people. Michael Wong success his good performance in the Final Option. The gun scence is as good as last time. This time, the director introduce the forrest battle in the moive which is different from the city battle last time. Different from last time, the focus is on the career of being a SDU rather than focus on the love and family. Finally, I want to say that the actress Gigi Leung has done a good job. She has a beautiful face. This time, she acts as a custom service officer and she needs practise gun shooting. People may not like that becasue it is not as same her traditional style. However, I think she really plays a really good rolo to the moive as a whole."