Way back in the day, my early education in Hong Kong cinema was more along the lines of guns and hand grenades, as opposed to fists and barrel rolls. Bullet ballets, car chases, crooked cops and machete gangs; I was all over that. It wasn’t until a double bill at a local cinema — Drunken Master II and Hard Boiled, to be precise — that I realised the other side of Cantonese and Mainland action cinema. Since then, I’ve … (read more)
This is one of those movies that just gets better and better the more you think about it. Johnnie To has actively sought to bring a realistic representation of the triad to the screen, to subvert the glamourised manner with which the Hong Kong cinema (To included) has portrayed its local gang culture, and lay bare its true nature. These kind of revisionist gangster movies have always been the best, and Election reminded me of The Godfather Part 2 and … (read more)
Johnnie To is ever the genre-shifting shapechanger. You can’t get a hold on him; just when you think you’ve got a firm grasp on his style, he jinks around, unhooks your hold and throws you back to the mat. I mean that in a good way.
Throw Down sees To partially back in the quirky territory of previous Milkway Image productions like The Odd One Dies and Too Many Ways To Be Number One, but in a more good-hearted … (read more)