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Long Arm of the Law
|     review    |     awards     |     availability     |
Lin Wei
Chinese: 省港旗兵
Year: 1984
Director: Johnny Mak Tong-Hung
Writer: Philip Chan Yan-Kin
Action: Billy Chan Wui-Ngai
Cast: Lin Wei, Wong Kin, Kong Lung, Chan Ging, Wong Yan-Tat, Yeung Min, Shum Wai, Lam Kwok-Bun, Tommy Wong Kwong-Leung
The Skinny: A fascinating, layered crime thriller that stands head-and-shoulders above most films of its genre.
 
Review
by Kozo:

This excellent crime thriller is a testament to real filmmaking. Johnnie Makís story of a group of mainland thieves is a gritty, realistic, and compelling action drama that never moralizes - thus realizing its power. Professional stuntman/bit player Lin Wei stars as the leader of a group of mainland thieves, who uses his residence in Hong Kong to plan a hit on a jewelry store. His cohorts all hail from the same town, and all dream of taking the dough back home and being rich. 

However, their experiences in traveling to and residing in Hong Kong are fraught with difficulties, chief among them their status as Mainland Chinese in HK. Each has their own personal issues to work through, but this isnít a feel-good fuzzy film about redemption and ultimate reconciliation. The characters are stymied or even undone by their disassociation with Hong Kong; their success and/or failure hinges on who they are. In the end, they donít affect the situation - it affects them. 

The casting is a major key. From top to bottom, the actors are mainly amateurs but their performances are starkly real. Whatís interesting is that no one appears to be the good or bad guy. The thieves want the money but the cops want the thieves, and each commits reprehensible acts to get what they want. There are no heroes here. Thereís only a society that loses. This film is a rarity: an genre picture that transcends its iconography and becomes art. This is a startling work of fiction that speaks volumes about its people and society - and still manages to entertain. (Kozo 2000)

 
Awards:

4th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards
• Winner - Best Supporting Actor (Shum Wai)
• Winner - Best Editing (Cheung Yiu-Chung)
• Nomination - Best Picture
• Nomination - Best Director (Johnny Mak Tong-Hung)
• Nomination - Best Screenplay (Philip Chan Yan-Kin)
• Nomination - Best New Artist (Lin Wei)
• Nomination - Best Cinematography (Koo Kwok-Wah)
• Nomination - Best Action Design (Billy Chan Wui-Ngai)
• Nomination - Best Original Score (Lam Mo-Tak)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Joy Sales
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc
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image courtesy of Mega Star Video Distribution, Ltd.

   
 
 
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