31 August 2001 | Wilson W
Sometimes annoying but the action scenes save this movie from total disaster.
I've seen Nicholas Tse recently in Tsui Hark's "Time and Tide" and was very impressed with his performance. He's one of the few Hong Kong pop actors that are making a fine transition into acting than compared to some others (IE. the horrible Ekin Cheng). I saw this movie a few days ago and I have mix reactions to this movie. This movie had a mixture of English, Japanese, and Cantonese. Oh this review is on both the dubbed and subtitled versions.
First, I'll go with the flaws. The story was too Hollywood for me. How many movies have we seen a group of criminals steal a nuclear bomb and it's up to the heroes to save the city from mass destruction? Way too many times. The dialogue was just so cliche. For example after a criminal betrays his own boss for money "It's about money right? It's part of the game, you know that!" Some of the actors are just really bad like Sam Lee's character Alien, you swear you'll start to think this man has soon too many Jim Carrey movies. Also there was too many episodic character developments like it jumped from a brother and brother, to a cop and a criminal with morals, a son of a criminal who wants revenge on another criminal...and so on. Still with me?
Now for the bright spots of the movie. The action sequences are just kinetic! Fast cuts, people diving and shooting at the same time, stand offs, Kung Fu scenes, and anything you can think of for a Hong Kong action movie. The women in the movie are some good eye candy, if you know what I'm saying. Nicholas Tse does a good job, not as good as he did in Time and Tide, but since this is his earlier work, you see his potential. The actor who played Akatora was impressive even sometimes his thick Japanese accent would make you miss some of his English words. In the musical note, there was this great Hong Kong punk song at the end of the credits that was pretty catchy.
So even with mix reactions, do I recommend this movie? Well it depends. If you're looking for a good popcorn movie this would be it. If you're looking for a smart action movie that reminds you of a John Woo movie? This wouldn't be it. So whatever you choose, just look for the amazing shootouts and a promising actor name Nicholas Tse.