Obvious foreign money bankrolled this tepid action drama
about hitman Ryuyu (Kenya Sawada), who gets a bullet
lodged in his brain and proceeds to question his life.
How he does this accounts for ninety minutes of this
ninety-five minute yawner which features a succession
of poorly plotted scenes and even worse dialogue and
Since Ryuyu knows he's going
to die, he decides to have fun with his life by pissing
off gangsters, stealing cars, and robbing for no sake
other than "the feeling." He falls in with
three bank robbers (Terence Yin, Tony Ho and Sam Lee)
to get his kicks. Meanwhile, he strikes up a friendship
with cop Joe (Milky Way regular Raymond Wong), who's
tortured over an SDU mission where he offed one of his
own colleagues. Meanwhile, cop Josie Ho must lead Joe
and a ragtag band of inept cops in catching these criminals.
And Lam Suet appears twice to offer Yoda-like wisdom.
After one single rooftop scene,
Ryuyu knows he's found a true buddy in Joe, a connection
that's supposed to be the emotional anchor of this film.
Then they don't meet again until the last ten minutes.
How's that for story development? The story is just
a string of plot devices meant to resemble some sort
of a crime thriller, except director Sam Leung can't
even tie everything together with the bare minimum glossy
superficiality. The awkward exposition usually involves
the actors standing around talking and the camera just
sitting there like a lump. The action sequences are
staged a bit more energetically, but they're still undone
by the incredibly poor editing and directorial choices.
And the script is bad.
matters worse is the egregiously bad acting by nearly
everyone involved. Sam Lee is his usual self, and Josie
Ho occasionally masks her boredom, but the rest of the
cast flunks big time. Terence Yin, in particular, should
be beaten up between takes to sap his overdone histrionics.
Kenya Sawada: here's a guy who has some physicality
but his acting is incredibly amateurish. His version
of screen presence is a preening smugness that can be
horribly grating. Raymond Wong should stick to Johnnie
To movies, because at least To doesn't have the kid
doing anything beyond his range. Here he's just blank,
and not even in a good Keanu Reeves kind of way. Furthermore,
this is an international production plagued by a zero
continuity of language. Sawada switches between English,
Cantonese and Japanese at
sometimes nonsensical times. That no one can act only
makes things worse.
The high point of this lovely
time waster must be the moment when Ryuyu stands in
the street and apparently uses psychic powers to locate
an armored truck. The average person probably would
have just seen the thing across the street, but Ryuyu
gestures to the heavens like Tim Robbins in The Shawshank
Redemption before seeing the truck and grinning
like an idiot who's just made an amazing discovery.
Then he decides to rob it. The scene must be director
Leung's idea of drama, but there's another word for
it: crap. (Kozo 2002)