Hong Kong | Varied Celluloid

Drug War

Posted by Josh Samford On November - 25 - 2013

Drug War (2012)
Director: Johnnie To
Writers: Wai Ka-Fai, Yau Nai-hoi. Ryker Chan, and Yu Xi
Starring: Louis Koo, Sun Honglei, Huang Yi, and Wallace Chung

The Plot: Drug War begins with drug trafficker Timmy Choi Tin-ming (Louis Koo) going into convulsions while driving a drug filled with meth. He eventually crashes the truck into a restaurant and is soon dragged away to jail where Captain Zhang Lei (Sun Honglei) is waiting for him. Zhang Lei is an incredibly dedicated officer, and he knows that Timmy has knowledge of the traffickers responsible for bringing Meth into China. In China, even a small amount of dope can get a person the death sentence, but being caught with the amount of meth that Timmy had… it’s guaranteed. Knowing this, Timmy decides to immediately work with the authorities. He teams up with Captain Zhang Lei, who goes undercover, and Timmy sets off to show the Captain just how powerful his former employers are. However, the Captain will have to keep his eyes on Timmy every second of their adventure because if there’s one thing he has proven… he will do anything to preserve his life.

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Devil Hunters

Posted by Josh Samford On September - 2 - 2013

Devil Hunters (1989)
Director: Lu Chin-Ku
Starring: Moon Lee, Sibelle Hu, Ray Lui, Chan Wai Man, Ken Lo, and Francis Ng

The Plot: Inspector Tong (Sibelle Hu) is a tough policewoman who stands out to her Superintendent (Alex Man), and because of this she is placed in charge of an assignment to bust veteran gangster Hon San. However, when the day comes, a young woman named Abby (Moon Lee) steps in and disrupts the bust. The police disruption is noted by Hon San and all of the other gangsters involved. This leads to Chiu Shing (Francis Ng) forcing Hon San to step down as leader and allow him to lead their criminal organization. Shing is a madman and immediately starts killing off all who could be seen as a liability. This leads to the death of Chai Sun’s (Ramyond Lui) father, which leads Chai Sun on a quest for vengeance against Hon San. So, now the police, Chai Sun, and the strange woman named Abby are all after Hon San, although none know that Shing is actually the madman whom they should be chasing.

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Posted by Josh Samford On June - 5 - 2013

Nightfall (2012)
Director: Roy Chow
Writers: Christine To
Starring: Nick Cheung, Simon Yam, Janice Man, Kay Tse, and Michael Wong

The Plot: Nightfall is a recent Hong Kong thriller focusing on Wong Yuen-yeung (Nick Cheung), a man who has recently been released from prison after serving twenty years for murder. Wong was arrested at the age of 19 for strangling and murdering a young girl who he was apparently quite infatuated with. Once released from jail, Wong begins to immediately stalk Zoe, the younger adopted sister of his previous victim. Zoe is a prodigious pianist, and that seems to make sense because her father Han Tsui (played by Michael Wong) is a well known musician that is respected throughout the world. What most do not realize, however, is that Han Tsui is abusive and seems to have a bizarre infatuation with Zoe as well. As Wong’s stalking continues, he is spotted following Zoe, so Han Tsui’s grip on Zoe begins to tighten further. Soon enough though, Han Tsui’s body turns up on the beach with his face completely smashed in. Inspector Lam (Simon Yam) is placed on the case, but he is having his own family problems and has had trouble understanding why his wife committed suicide and left him to look after their daughter on his own. While everything seems like it should be quite open-and-shut, in the wake of his wife’s death, Lam has become obsessed with digging deeper into his cases. As he does, he finds that this story truly isn’t as clear-cut as it first appears.

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Four, The

Posted by Josh Samford On May - 6 - 2013

The Four (2012)
Director: Gordon Chan and Janet Chun
Writers: Gordon Chan, Maria Wong, and Frankie Tam
Starring: Deng Chao, Liu Yifei, Collin Chou, Anthony Wong

The Plot: The Four is a period tale that focuses on a town that is being threatened by counterfeit money. There are two units that are initially tasked with finding the culprits behind this illegal operation. The two groups, The Divine Constabulary and Department Six, are completely different from one another in every way. Department Six is a very covert unit that works within the shadows and they are much more in tune with the general bureaucracy found in government. The Divine Constabulary, however, is much more ethical in general. This group is very special, and not just because they have a nice sense of social ethics, but all members seem to have mastered their martial art to such a degree that they now harness supernatural powers. Reading minds and shooting projectiles are simply everyday activities within the Divine Constabulary clubhouse. Lengxue (Deng Chao) is a member of Department Six, but he is asked by their leader to go undercover within the Divine Constabulary. After a very public firing, Lengxue is eventually welcomed into The Divine Constabulary, and he befriends all who are involved. As you have maybe guessed, he will have a very difficult decision to make in the near future (which side will he choose!?), but along the way he must help take down this counterfeiting operation and bring justice to those who would fight against it.

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Great Magician, The

Posted by Josh Samford On March - 25 - 2013

The Great Magician (2011)
Director: Derek Yee
Writers: Derek Yee, Chun Tin-nam, and Lau Ho-leung
Starring: Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Lau Ching-wan, Lam Suet, and Zhou Xun

The Plot: The Great Magician takes place after the Revolution that overthrew the Qing dynasty and finds China entering into some very turbulent times. Various areas are being controlled by warlords, and the local revolutionaries are busy trying to concoct schemes in order to fight the warlords who hold far more firepower. Our story focuses on a military leader named Lei Bully (Lau Ching-wan) who is trying his best to win the heart of a formerly imprisoned woman named Liu Yin (Zhou Xun). Although Lei wants to win her affection, she refuses to give it unless Lei Bully can find the woman’s father. Enter Chang Hsien (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai), a talented magician who may or may not have ties to the local revolutionary groups. As he begins to show off his spectacular magic tricks, he quickly grabs the attention of Lei Bully and the two men bond. However, it seems that Liu Yin has a history with Chang Hsien. The two were formerly lovers, and at the same time that Bully is attempting to win Liu Yin’s heart, he also holds Chang Hsien’s former mentor in prison. With so much riding on the line, Chang Hsien holds his cards close to his chest and the audience must take this ride alongside him and see just what this magician has planned.

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