5 March 2001 | arenn
A Good Mix of Comedy, Action, Stylism, and Genre
Jiang Hu: The Triad Zone follows the obligatory Hong Kong action genre formula - to a point. Yes, there's the warring triad gangs, vignettes on loyalty and betrayal, violence, and stylistic flourish. But this film also goes above and beyond on the comedy front. It manages to be one of the most humorous Hong Kong action flicks I've seen, without descending into farce. Perhaps that's because it does contain more serious moments as well.
Gang leader Jim Yam has ascended nearly to the pinnacle of power in the underworld, but it brings him few satisfactions. As he watches his peers drop dead around him - many of them amazingly from natural causes - he finds himself more and more soldiering on because that's just what bosses do. Reflecting back on his younger days in London, it is sad to contrast his current lavish - but empty - life as a crime lord in Hong Kong with the joys he experienced as a petty thief in England. These flashbacks and voice overs give us insights not only into Yam himself, but also his closest associates, whom we discover he in truth barely knows.
A good blend of the serious and the comic, Jiang Hu: The Triad Zone is not the peak of its genre, but certainly well worth seeing.