DVD Review – Motorway (2013)

Motorway follows the story of two traffic cops, Cheung (Shawn Yue) is the fast paced rookie determined to impress his supervisors and Lo (Anthony Wong) is the seasoned veteran who is counting down the days to sweet, sweet retirement. These two cops become entangled in a case where Cheung is left in hot pursuit of a getaway driver that has haunted Lo in the past. The felon gets away with breaking a known triad out of prison. With the duo now planning a string of robberies, Lo takes it upon himself to teach Cheung that there’s more to driving than what’s under the hood.

Soi Cheang, a director of whole string of gritty crime thrillers (most recently the excellent Accident) essentially takes the drive-in route with Motorway. Not that I’m saying that’s a bad thing, Motorway is a good film, but strangely straightforward. We have the main plot, the clichéd subplot and a very throwaway attempt at romantic storyline.

Lead actors Shawn Yue and Anthony Wong are faultless, both of them do great work here – the main story is interesting with some predictable twists. The supporting cast includes appearances from both Gordon Lam and Josie Ho as higher ranking officers. The car chases are good, choreographed by seasoned action directors Char Kar-Lok and Wong Wai-Fau; the chase scenes taking place in the multi-storey parking garage and the mountains are both gripping and well thought-out.

Special Features on Arrow’s DVD release include roughly one hour of Behind the Scenes footage of almost every scene being shot, with the majority of the footage concentrating on how they constructed and later filmed the chase sequences. We see director Soi Cheang and action choreographer Chin Kar-Lok working out every moment and angle with the actors on set. It may be the only extra on the disc, but you can’t argue with a near hour’s worth of English subtitled footage.

Overall I have to say that Motorway is a good movie, but it’s not reinventing the wheel when it comes to car movies and cop movies to be honest. Although it should be said that we are quite lucky to see it being released in the UK at all, not enough Hong Kong cinema reaches these shores anymore. Sure, it has a very generic cover art which does the film no justice, but let’s be thankful that we get to see this film in the first place!