Long Arm of the Law (1984)

Plot (Deltamac): In the lower depths of human societies, the dirty rats or big circles are lurking in the shadows of society. Block Head who dotes on his son and tolerates his nagging wife. Chung who is ever so kind to his grandmother. Chung who still loves childhood sweetheart Ah Sheung, now a cabaret hostess.

Rooster and Bull’s Eye. Their leader is Tung (David Lam) who has a perfect plan for a “job” in Hong Kong. In 48 hours, they are to cross the border, rob a jewelry shop and then get back across the border…

Review: Rated at number one of the ‘Ten of the Best Heroic Bloodshed Flicks’, I had high hopes for this movie, beating the ranks against movies such as A Better Tomorrow and Hard Boiled. This movie in reality does stand a chance against John Woo’s master pieces. Sure I can see why many people can see this movie as a diamond in the rough or a hidden gem in the Hong Kong action genre.

leading actor David Lam Wai (noticeable in movies such as A Chinese Ghost Story and Project A part 2) does show promise. Although the rest of the cast are a mixed bunch.

With the lack of noticeable actors it’s obvious why the movie hasn’t proved to by a fan favorite. I myself pined to see some familiar faces. Sure we get to see former Jackie Chan stunt man – Ben Lam take the role of a police officer, that isn’t enough. Even the movies police chief i wished to see him replaced with a husky James Tien or Danny Lee!

But the film does earn some brownie points from its graphic violence – the guy having his ear lob blown off or the violent death of the police officer at the ice rink.

As you can expect the story of the mainland thieves going to Hong Kong for their get rich quick scheme ALWAYS goes wrong. Yet this movie lines the plot with unnecessary storylines of the mainland gang sleeping around or the frankly square character ‘Rooster’ forcing a classy call girl at gun point forcing her to give him some ‘oral pleasures’. There is also the worn down subplot of Chung being reunited with his mainland love, Sheung who is now a nightclub hostess.

Watching this movie often reminded me of Ringo Lam’s City on Fire where both movies feature various cast members. Hell even this movie has background music which was used in Sammo Hung’s “Eastern Condors”.

As you can predict, Long Arm of the Law falls short of the finish line, yet ventures off into two sequels, it must have went right somewhere…

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