16 June 2007 | winner55
while not a great film, of the first round of 'new wave' action films to come out of Hong Kong in the later 1980s, this has been the most imitated - not the films of Woo and Lam.
Probably the main reason for this is that the characters wear their emotions on their sleeves. When it's time to have fun, they do nothing but have fun, when it's time to cry, they cry rivers. And of course, when it's time to fight, they go at it with a fury rarely seen in action films - which of course makes this a very good action film, since such fury is really what action film fans want to see.
This emotional openness invites over-acting, and there are certainly moments of that here, especially from the usually more guarded Chow Yun-Fat. On the other hand, this is a perfect venue for Ti Lung, who was trained in the more histrionic method expected of all Shaw Bros. stars of the '70s; and Ti Lung's performance really makes this film believable, despite some rather twists in the relationships presented here (such as the odd respect everyone pays to the aging triad boss).
It's a tough, dramatic story, and the gun-fight at the end is among the best in Hong Kong action cinema. Certainly not a classic like "The Killer" or "City on Fire", but you won't go wrong watching this, even a couple times.