Plot: Set in 1996, overly aggressive Cop – Ma (Donnie Yen) is involved in on going case against three Vietnamese triad brothers. In an attempt to bring down this powerful group, Ma’s partner Wilson (Louis Koo) works undercover as a snitch.
With years of loyalty between Wilson and the brothers he’s gained their trust. Although Wilson is growing tired of Ma’s brash attitude and finds his cover blown during a intense chase from the police. The sadistic Brother Tony (Colin Chou) drives down Wilson leaving him for dead.
Fast forward three months and Wilson is now a cripple but only to the effect of a limp. With the eldest Brother Archer behind bars with a court date set in stone, the remaining two brothers begin killing off all witnesses involved with the case and with Wilson inline as the next target, how long can Ma last before he risks every?
Review: If you’ve already seen Sha Po Lang and Dragon Tiger Gate, you know what type of action Donnie Yen is delivering. More grounded action this time around, no excessive wire work, although the action is under cranked and heavily edited. When watching the movie, realising Colin Chou is the main bad guy I could just imagine what was in store later on – Donnie Yen v Colin Chou in one long broad shot, too good to be true? Yeah! We do get a hard hitting 10 minute brawl between the two, but the constant angle changing takes away edge, but still I did find myself going “f*ck! That looked sore!” At the time I thought that would sum up my opinion on the action sequences, but when looking at the footage in the credits and the special features you see how much hard work and training Donnie Yen put into this movie, it made me appreciate it a whole lot more.
On several occasions the Wilson Yip attempts to shock the audience, I’ll explain some of them, spoiler free of course; the gathering at Wilson’s flat, the fight between Tiger and Ma and Wilson’s cover being blown. All three events do attempt to shock, but the impact is lost instantly with the abnormal use of wire work and CG.
The Cast, oh what a stellar cast! Wilson Yip has successfully managed to reignite the career’s of Colin Chou (whose career seemed quite after the Matrix movies and his brief appearance in Fearless) and Kent Cheng (who had a hit and miss career to start off with), both of them are used extremely well in this movie. Donnie Yen does well in the movie, nothing out of the ordinary, compared to his last two movie’s that is. Louis Koo’s performance seemed pretty hollow, the first half hour was pretty good, but he grew stale pretty quick. We are also treated to an appearance from stuntman turn actor – Ben Lam.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but does anyone else think that a free botox injection came free with a copy of the script? Everyone’s looking too good, too good to be true!
Final thoughts? A fine film indeed! Enjoy