After a failed assassination attempt on mob boss lung he hires five killers of diverse backgrounds as bodyguards and to seek out the enemy. The danger that comes with the job gradually brings the men closer until an unexpe... more »cted turn of events put their friendship and loyalty to the test. Studio: Tai Seng Entertainment Release Date: 09/21/2004 Starring: Anthony Wong Simon Yam Run time: 88 minutes Rating: Nr Director: Johnny To« less
"Everyone loves a great shootout in their action film right? How about four to five? Johnny To directs this clever and thoughful film about five men hired to guard a highly-ranked Triad boss. Each man has his own story and thus makes this action film a character driven one as well. Although the film has only 81 minutes to enthrall you, every minute is worth it. The acting, especially Francis Ng's and Anthony Wong's performances are sleek, stylish and humorous. Although the DVD isn't loaded with extras, it's the best format-- especially since the VHS version will have you using magnifying glasses when reading the subtitles. An amazing action film at any rate and a must see for any Hong Kong film fan or pure gangster movie buff."
A warning about the DVD subtitles
thecfb | Cambridge, Cambs United Kingdom | 02/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I loved the film, but a word of warning about the english subtitles. The translation is very strange in parts - substitution of completely wrong words with a similar spelling. Also the subtitles linger only just long enough for you to be able to read them if you happen to be looking at the bottom of the screen waiting in anticipation."
A sleek masterpiece
Justin Mclaughlin | Los Angeles, CA | 04/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First things first: don't go into this expecting a kinetic action flick, a la Time and Tide or The Big Heat. There are few flashy action scenes to be found here, the dialogue is sparse, the camera rarely moves and when it does, it creeps along slowly. All of which makes the film more exciting and more tense. There are a handful of action scenes here, and the three major ones are all incredibly well done. The standoffs at the mall, the deserted building, and in the alley are all examples of what is lost when actions scenes rely too heavily on Michael Bay-esque pyrotechnics and camera movement. The acting is top notch, with most of the major actors playing against type to a certain extent: they're all rather quiet. Anthony Wong is a quietly effecient assassin, Roy Cheung is the quiet nice guy, Lam Suet is the quiet peanut-eating gun expert....these roles all play off nicely against Francis Ng's edgy, tempestuous character and Simon Yam's weirdly humorous gangster (who really seems to be running the show, not his brother, whom the hired guns are protecting). All in all, this film is ample evidence that Hong Kong cinema is alive and well, even after the mass exodus of talent."
Great Hong Kong drama
A. D. Castro | 08/07/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great Hong Kong drama as opposed to one of those Hong Kong shoot-em ups. The action sequences aren't over-the-top John Woo catharsis. They're taut, paced and intelligent sequences. The way the characters all come together to form an elite bodyguard team is handled subtly. But the way friendships are portrayed between cold-blooded killers is portrayed real well."
Watch out for Chinese DVDs
E. Auge | 09/23/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"It seems to me like this is not a DVD but rather a CDV converted to DVD. The image quality is bad, so is the sound and there is some text underneath the picture all the time. but this is the only place I could find this film, great work by director Johnnie To with all the usual HK stars."