25 February 2005 | mj970128-1
No comparison to Seijun Suzuki's Tokyo Drifter
The successful night club singer Johnny [ David Chiang ] is blackmailed by his former criminal friends into working with them again. They want rob a jewellery store and need him for disguise. Starting the robbery Johnny see's his lost love Lily [ Wang Ping ] working there, then fights against the gang and gets shot by the security. Now he's wanted by the police and his former colleagues....
Apart from 5 songs performed by David Chiang a completely "common" thriller, not a musical or pistol opera, as worried before. The background music also takes places at the very beginning or end of the movie, and is only held at concerts of Johnny, not during the movie, he didn't start singing in the middle of action. The OK mandopop songs written by Chang Cheh are rather funny also, not only because of the silly lyrics, but also the choreographed gig, the costumes of the dancers and especially the petrified David Chiang and the cameo of Ti Lung as guitarist and drummer.
The story begins well, Johnny [ his artist name is the "Narcissus" and hell, he looks like one ] gets a fictitious letter , leading him to the old accommodation , where the criminals try to get control over him. Their plan is well thought and the ways before the robbery - which is in the middle of movie - are quite suspenseful and clever. Then it's slowing down, not only because of Johnny's injuries. Speed is lacking, the big love story doesn't work, the played emotions are too played, they simply overegg the pudding.
In contrast to that the determination work of the police is boring, the audience knows the truth already. The chase of the gang is little boring also, because there really isn't any, except 2 thugs "visiting" once. Anyway the film is quite good, if there's speed, but there are simply too less moments of it. The armed robbery is adrenaline pumping, the later foot chase in the underground also, sporting some good action sequences. The showdown is also dealing with guns, next to few fight choreographies of Lau Kar Leung and Tang Chia, film is also mildly bloody.
I wouldn't recommend the movie, it's quite interesting the first half, then it gets worse and little boring. No comparison to Seijun Suzuki's TOKYO DRIFTER.