Good cop Tony Leung Ka-Fai is assigned a strange mystery. He investigates
a killer, only to find out that he was supposedly executed after
a stint on death row. Said killer resurfaced after his supposed
death to wreak havoc on the outside, and Leung must go undercover
in prison on find out why. Inside, he meets a variety of imprisoned
characters, all played by big name actors. Prisoner Sammo Hung wants
to escape to see his son. Jackie Chan arrives in jail for killing
Andy Lau's brother. Lau soon follows to take down Chan in the joint.
Meanwhile, Tony Leung forms a bond with fellow prisoner Tou Chung-Wah.
All the standard prison potboiler
clichés are in place, but Chiu Yen-Ping's narrative seems
mostly ludicrous. Ringo Lam's infinitely superior Prison on Fire (also featuring Tony Leung Ka-Fai) handled the subject of prison
politics much better than this half-baked, star-studded effort.
Why all these names agreed to appear in this film is a mystery for
the ages - presumably some sort of favor-swapping was going on.
Otherwise, the big names were hoodwinked by an overachieving producer.'
This film is not for fans of Jackie Chan's
larger than life persona, as he doesn't do much more than beat people
up and act moody. Besides that, he's barely in the film! You could
call this an ensemble piece, but the actors don't really work together.
They just sort of stand around while dubbed-over dialogue occurs.
This can be an entertaining flick for the undemanding, but it's
a total let down considering who's in it. However, it's hard to
expect much more from Chiu Yen-Pin. (Kozo 1995/1997)