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Color of Pain
  Chinese: 野狼 "If I aim first, maybe I will hit something."
Kenya Sawada in another fine film
Year: 2002
Director: Sam Leung Tak-Sum
Cast: Kenya Sawada, Raymond Wong Ho-Yin, Josie Ho Chiu-Yi, Terence Yin, Sam Lee Chan-Sam, Tony Ho Wah-Chiu, Risa Goto, Jun Kunimura, Lam Suet, Wai Ka-Hung, Kwok Chuen-Chun, Felix Lok Ying-Kwan
The Skinny: That whistling noise you hear is the sound of this movie sucking.
   
Review
by Kozo:

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 acting. 

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. 

Making 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)

   
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Universe Laser
Widescreen
International (Cantonese, Japanese, English) language
Mandarin dub track
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Universe Laser and Video Co., Ltd.

 
 
 
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