Reviews by Country
After experiencing the boorish and juvenile jingoism of Wu Jing’s Wolf Warrior, I was looking forward to the new big budget HK movie, Helios… although I was a bit wary of the fact that its release date had been put back three times in the past six months. From directors Sunny Luk and Longman Leung (Cold War), Helios starts well but fades quickly.
The film opens with the theft of a South Korean manufactured nuclear dirty … (read more)
Sometimes the overwhelming success of a particular genre film can have an unfortunate effect on the movies following it. I’m talking here about Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, which has become so popular and awarded since its release in 2000 that it’s now the gold standard for martial arts films. It has allowed lazy film publicists, uninformed film reviewers and the general public to label a new kung fu / martial arts film as simply being not as good, or … (read more)
With Hong Kong, until recently, being a self governed province, there’s really little call for them to have a standing army. Which makes it a shame as it limits Hong Kong’s film industries ability to make films about the military… or so one would think. Fortunately we have the SDU to save us from such a glaring whole in their cultural fabric.
The SDU is basically a paramilitary group that specialises in urban operations involving small squads of well trained, … (read more)
Infernal Affairs 2, as the second act of the trilogy, starts the race with a handicap. Second acts are traditionally more down beat and less popular they either the first or third acts. Also, it follows up the enormously popular first part of the series, starring two of Hong Kong’s most popular A list actors. Nonetheless, it’s still a good film in its own right.
This is partly because the cast includes some seriously good dramatic actors, such as … (read more)
Once more we find outselves at the shady underbelly of Hong Kong society with the Triads that inhabit them. The stalwarts of Eric Tsang, Francis Ng, Jordan Chan and Shawn Yu populate this world of crime and violence as once again Hong Kong produces another film about the neverending battle between the police and the triads.
In the most cynical of modes, this is no doubt a cash-in upon recent quality productions more deserving of the spotlight, but it nonetheless … (read more)
Love is a Many Stupid Thing is a reasonable parody of HK smash Infernal Affairs that is marred by the inclusion of some truly stupid material that makes the mistake of deviating from an otherwise successful spoof formula.
Music, locations, and even actors are ripped right out of IA, while entire scenes are reproduced shot-for-shot with only the smallest of changes — usually just enough to make them look ridiculous (yeah, subtlety in a Wong Jing film — who’da … (read more)
This hidden gem is easily one of the best Hong Kong releases for 2002. Get over that appalling bright blue poster that screams “Twins on summer holiday!”, and you’ll be well rewarded.
Just One Look is about love, movies, and love of movies. It’s set in the 1970s, and the two main characters spend all their days out the front of the local theatre. Behind them a succession of wonderful hand-painted boards advertise the movies of the day, from blazing … (read more)