|Bloody Brotherhood (1989)|
|Director:||Wang Lung Wei|
|Starring:||Andy Lau, Michael Chan, Ku Feng, Dick Wei and Philip Ko|
|The Plot: Wah (Andy Lau) and his brother are Chinese citizens trying to escape the mainland and become successful in Hong Kong. Just as their dreams seem to be coming true, their mother dies during the boat trip and then the two brothers are split apart by the Chinese coastguards who toss Wah into the water and arrest his brother. Wah soon awakens on the Hong Kong shore, being taken care of by a woman named Kui and her very respectable father. Kui and Wah are soon caught up in a romance that seems to be heading somewhere big. Unfortunately, after three months of working in Hong Kong, Wah is a bit disillusioned with the system and gambles on opening a small vendor-stall on the docks. When he is pressured by a group of triads who demand protection money, Wah beats them up single handedly. Fed up with this oppressive system, Wah decides to go after their boss in order to be compensated for his broken stall. Inevitably, this leads to another fight where Wah actually manages to impress the boss of this Triad organization. Soon enough, Wah has a job with this crime family, but this also throws him into the middle of a bloody war as the local crime families are beefing over how to approach the drug trade. Eventually, Wah’s boss is set up by a rival faction within the crime family, and Wah will soon be on his on and very much a target himself.
The action certainly isn’t the problem with this movie. If there is a noticeable issue, it comes in the form of its narrative. The movie is a bit “all-over-the-place” and it looks to cover way more than one might expect from a rather typical piece of triad melodrama. It would be enough to simply follow a straight narrative surrounding the Wah character, but the movie then moves into an even larger and more intricate conspiracy against Wah’s boss who is framed and sent to prison for seven full years. So, the movie inevitably jumps around a great deal in terms of its time and setting. As a viewer I started to lose track of just what was going on. The only thing that kept me going was Andy Lau’s character, and even he isn’t all that interesting. There is very little for the audience to dig into, but the movie simply continues to chug along. While the melodrama tends to stack up, usually revolving around Wah and his brother being split apart, my personal interest continued to fade more and more. The only spike in interest comes in the form of a child’s death, but even that sequence couldn’t be compared to the epic “child being heaved out of a glass window” sequence in Wang Lung Wei’s Hong Kong Godfather. This just isn’t that sort of movie.