Basically a Chinese version of The Untouchables, this
actioner from Tsui Hark and Kirk Wong is a well-crafted period
genre movie. Tony Leung Ka-Fai is Ding Chun-Bee, an honorable
cop in turbulent 1930’s Shanghai. He’s a rare righteous cop that belongs to police force comprised of mostly corrupt officers, though their no-nonsense
captain (Tsui Kam-Kong) is honest.
Ding finds himself locked in a rivalry
with opium smuggler Haye (Adam Cheng), who happens to
be the same Chinese officer who tortured he and his pals back
during wartime. Ding takes out Haye’s Uncle
Liang in a raid leading to a vow of vengeance by Haye. Ding
has his own score to settle because Haye offed his partner.
Since the cops are no help, he looks elsewhereand finds
this three old war buddies (Mark Cheng, Waise Lee, and John
Woo’s film editor, David Ng).
Complicating things is the presence
of downtrodden prostitute Mona Fong (Elizabeth Lee) who Ding
is drawn to despite his loving wife Chu-Chiao (Carrie Ng)
and young daughter. Eventually, all of this ends in a bloody
shoot-out that plays like Peckinpah. The
relationships and motivations of some of the characters remain
unclear, but this is a good, solid action drama with many
compellingand possibly shockingevents. Most definitely
worth seeing (Kozo 1995/1997)