14 January 2012 | dave13-1
Hong Kong roughie occasionally entertains.
Victimized women in Hong Kong's (Red Light) Portland Street neighborhood strike back at a nasty criminal (played by Simon Yam in another of his patented crazy-eyed roles), but find that revenge comes at a high price.
From the director of Run and Kill (see my review) comes another of those luridly violent Category III movies that proliferated in the late 80s and early 90s, featuring psycho gangsters and weak, ordinary people locked in some bitter struggle to the end. The whole sub-genre is not for the faint of heart, as each movie pushed the boundaries of audience endurance ever further with brutality and mass slayings frequently punctuating the drama.
The movie itself is well enough constructed, with logical story development, plausible characters and good performances from a mostly female cast of B-movie regulars like Chingmy Yau and Qi Shu. The shiny on the outside / grimy underneath world of Portland Street's bars is well visualized despite the low budget thanks to some very professional lighting and good use of actual local settings.
As slice of low-life dramas go, this one is certainly watchable, but needs to be approached with caution. The violence is not stylized and choreographed as in a Jet Li action flick. It is brutal, sudden and ugly.