18 July 2012 | paul_haakonsen
A pearl in the Hong Kong cinema vault...
First of all the title of the movie, "Escape From Hong Kong Island" is a little bit misleading, as the character Raymond Mak is not actually trying to escape, but trying to cross Victoria Harbor to go to Kowloon for a job interview. So the title was a bit misleading.
But still, I must say that this is one of the more interesting Hong Kong movies that I have seen in a long, long time. I had never heard about it prior to buying it from Amazon. I bought it simply because it is a Hong Kong movie and because I love those movies (and used to live there myself). It should be said, though, that "Escape From Hong Kong Island" is not the type of movie that is suitable for just anyone. Why? Well because the movie is somewhat out there in absurdity and not being your average mainstream type of movie. Very little actually happens in the approximate 90 minutes of playing, though at the same time oh-so-much happens to Raymond Mak.
The story is about Raymond Mak, an arrogant man who has a high-paid job in a big company on the Hong Kong Island side of Hong Kong, but he wakes up one day and comes to work only to find himself fired from his job. To make matters worse, he gets held up in an alley upon leaving the building, having his wallet, money and ID card stolen from him. He have to cross over to Tsim Sha Tsui (on the Kowloon side) as there is another job waiting for him. But crossing the harbor without money is no easy feat - despite it only costing 2,20 Hong Kong dollars by the Star Ferry.
The things that happen to poor Raymond is absurd, but also very amusing for us as the viewers. And I especially enjoyed this movie, because it shows Hong Kong from a new side, from a more down-to-earth point of view, from the eyes of the average man.
"Escape From Hong Kong Island" has some really great acting performances, and lead actor Jordan Chan really put on an amazing performance as Raymond Mak, bringing so much charisma and believability to the character. But throughout the entire movie there was some really fun and memorable performances to be seen, and the characters were very memorable and lovable. Chapman To (playing police officer Mo) added a lot to the movie. But also a big thumbs up to director Simon Lui for having the creativity to think up this movie and having the determination to making it.
This movie is a definite MUST watch for all fans and lovers of Hong Kong cinema. And I am very glad that I bought this movie, because it was really a great surprise of an amazing movie experience. But again, I must emphasize on this, that "Escape From Hong Kong Island" is somewhat of a movie requiring an acquired taste. I believe that this is either the type of movie that you love or hate - and I loved it!