"Brothers" (Hing Dai) is your typical Hong Kong gangster movie, and it doesn't fail to deliver. At the beginning, a fortune teller tells the Tam family mob boss that his two sons will fight against each other in the future, so he sends one of them to the US to separate them. Inevitably, they end up getting together again and the story unfolds. While the story isn't exactly groundbreaking, the cast does a stellar job playing their roles. Lead actor Kiu Wai Miu is cold, resilient, and mysterious as the older brother who takes care of the family business, while Eason is the innocent "clean" younger brother. Eason does a decent job but his role doesn't really require anything out of the ordinary. Kiu Wai Miu pretty much holds the movie together with his unpredictability. You have no idea if he's good or bad, if he still has a hidden hint of decency, or just ruthless. Mainland actress Li Huang is the female lead, although her role is fairly small, I was a bit disappointed in her to be honest. She must have some connections within the entertainment circle because she gets an awful lot of roles, yet each time she's really nothing more than a (decently) pretty face. In most of her scenes, she gives me the impression of a deer caught in headlights. In Mainland China, she started out with smaller roles such as the helper or assistant of the female leads, and I think that's what she does best.
The real show stealer here, is Andy Lau, also one of the producers of the movie. He plays an arrogant cop, blatantly over the top with his attitude, but there is only a very small handful of actors who can pull it off and look legit. Andy is definitely one of them. And my goodness, the guy is in fantastic shape! In his first scene, he makes instant impact with his coolness and suave exterior. I don't know if he got a facelift, some anti-aging treatment, or just a healthy diet, he is in great shape and looks much younger than before. He is so cocky, that even his coworkers are played (fooled) on a constant basis, yet he doesn't become annoying. Rather, I found myself laughing out loud on several occasions, and shaking my head at how arrogant this guy is. He certainly adds spice to the movie and keeps things interesting.
Brothers, while not an incredible film, is still a decent rental at the least. The reason I give it 7 rather than 5 or 6, is because it's very well paced, and the solid acting from Kiu Wai Miu and pure entertainment from Andy Lau kept me on the edge of my seat at all times. There are very few dull moments, and the final scenes of the movie were tense enough as well. A good gangster flick to end the year on.
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