8 October 2010 | Falconeer
Powerful & sleazy kung fu drama
From the first frame of "The Delinquent" it is obvious that this angry film is very unlike the pretty, stylish films known to come from the Shaw Bros, and director Chang Cheh. Artificial sets are done away with, in favor of real location shooting. The film captures the attention from the beginning, with close up shots of mouths, shoving greasy food in and chewing like wild dogs. The neighborhood is made up of cut throat thugs, and the landscape resembles a maximum security prison with it's dismal concrete buildings. Wang Chung, in a rare turn as the main character, is great as the young martial arts protégé, living with his hard-working father, after his mother has left them both. John Shen (Chung), frustrated with a life of poverty, is seduced by fast cars, expensive clothes and beautiful women, when a gang boss offers to hire him for his martial arts skills. A plan to rob the business where is father is security guard, goes wrong, and all hell breaks loose. 'Street Gangs..' is a very grim and serious film about betrayal and redemption and a lot of it is downright depressing. Ti Lu is excellent in the role of Shen's hardened, but decent father, and the cast is all around fine. Loaded with amazing camera work and artistic touches, this one is very unique within the genre. This isn't really a 'kung fu flick,' but rather a serious crime-drama with martial arts included. Even the English dubbing is done well, very seriously this time, although I would like to see it with the original Mandarin language track someday. Great, nihilistic film, and the last fifteen minutes has to be seen to be believed; if you are looking for a light kung fu flick with bad dubbing and silly scenarios, look elsewhere; "Street Gangs of Hong Kong" is not exactly light viewing...