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Full Alert (1997)


Plot: Officer Pao (Lau Ching-Wan) is the average cop who is under stress investigating a murder case. The murder is a low life thug, Mak Kwan (Francis Ng), who admits to the crime. Although Kwan is planning more serious crimes with a mainland criminal (Jack Gao).

Officer Pao and other members of the police force (including Chin Kar-Lok) are on to Mak Kwans plan, after finding various bomb-making materials discovered in Kwans apartment. This leads to hail bullets and out of control car chases as Officer Pao risks his life and his family into catching Mak Kwan off guard.

Full Alert is a great modern day cat and mouse movie. Sean Lau (aka Lau Ching Wan) is a convincing police officer, like some of his past work in The Black Mask and more recently in the Running Out Of Time Series. Sean definitely gives it his all in this movie.

Review: One of my personal highlights was the scene where Pao was chasing Kwan and his girlfriend after Kwan had attacked him. Pao sets up to fire his pistol at Kwan, when he does he accidentally strikes a motorcyclist, the scene then cuts to show the cyclist flying down a set of stairs and with a thunderous crash at the bottom.

Francis Ng was a perfect choice as the bad guy. His expressions and his acting are just too convincing at times. Francis seems to be an excellent enemy no matter what film he is in (for example; The Young and Dangerous & Infernal Affairs 2). Yet Francis’s character isn’t entirely ruthless, he seems to be the average person but after getting pulled into this life of crime he’ll fight his way out.

Chin Kar-Lok role in the film was also well played. We often see Kar-Lok play a vampire hunter or rebels, but this time he is a police officer with a gambling addiction. When it comes to the scene where Bill (Chin Kar-Lok) looses sight of Kwan because he had went into a shop. Officer Pao flips his lid and believes that Bill went into the shop to place a bet on the horse races. Officer Pao grabs a paper from his Bills back pocket, thinking he was going to find betting slips, but it was actually a newspaper reporting about the death of his rookie partner…

Final thoughts on this mid 90’s cop and robbers feast by Ringo Lam is definitely worth a watch. You don’t need to be a fan of the actors or the genre, this should apply to all fans of Asian Cinema.

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