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  • Following the success of "Infernal Affairs," there have been many films imitating but often failing in duplicating the movie in terms of box office success, script, acting ability, etc. This one delivers . . . kinda. The same problems I had with "Infernal Affairs" are still present in this film.

    The story is complicated, but aren't they all? Shawn Yu plays "Fat," an orphan raised by his "Uncle Chai." Uncle Chai is a follower of Brother Dragon, who is played convincingly by Eric Tsang. And the movie follows them through a period of a year or so, where everything important seems to happen. Tsang is a very good actor in my opinion. His diminutive frame precedes and almost underestimates him. However, like in this film, and the other films that I've seen with him in it, he often steals the scenes, and is able to switch from "menacing" to "sympathetic" effortlessly and without seeming contrived.

    The film in itself is more violent than your average HK crime/drama, although in some areas, it pussyfoots around where an unflinching camera shot would have been very effective. The twist ending is believable and very well-written.

    The flaws of this film include Tsang's eyebrows (You'll know what I mean), Yue's inability to enunciate his words made for listening to the dialogue a chore, crappy acting and stereotypical roles by the female leads that almost made them unbelievable, and underestimated their execution. It may seem like there are many flaws. However, the main focus is not in their romantic lives. So other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Retiring triad boss gets word that some one has put a hit out on him in the hopes of getting the millions he holds in trust for the gang. Unsure of where to turn, he calls a friend who brings together a group of young guns to both protect and ferret out who's behind the plot. (Its more complicated than that but its good enough not to give any spoilers.)

    I find it hard to discuss this film without giving anything away. The problem (with the film and with talking about it) is that there are a great many twists and turns, so many in fact that I wondering when something wasn't going to have a flip side. I don't mind twists and turns in a movie but there has to be a limit as to how many you can have in any movie, especially when a good number of them happen in the final fifteen minutes. Its as if the writer (who's also one of the directors) didn't trust his material and cast enough and had to keep twisting things to keep us watching. I don't know why considering that the cast is a sterling collection of old and young actors who are probably good enough to read the phone book and keep us enthralled.

    To be honest I didn't care for this film all that much, its not that its bad, rather it just doesn't trust its cast to sell what is really a run of the mill story, instead the need to spice it up gets in the way.

    Worth a look if you run across it on cable or if you can borrow it from a friend.