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Young and Dangerous:
The Prequel
  |     review    |     awards     |     availability     |     also see      |    



from left: Yuen Wai-Ho, Yu Ka-Ho, Nicholas Tse and Sam Lee

Chinese: 新古惑仔之少年激鬥篇  
Year: 1998
Director: Andrew Lau Wai-Keung
Producer: Manfred Wong
Cast: Nicholas Tse Ting-Fung, Sam Lee Chan-Sam, Francis Ng Chun-Yu, Ng Chi-Hung, Shu Qi, Lillian Ho Ka-Lei, Daniel Wu, Yu Ka-Ho, Benjamin Yuen Wai-Ho, Law Lan, Chan Wai-Man, Joe Junior, Sandra Ng Kwun-Yu, Kristy Yeung Kung-Yu, Yuen Bun, Lee Siu-Kei
The Skinny: Well-cast prequel to the popular film series is surprisingly darker and better than most of the films it precedes.
 
Review
by Kozo:

Andrew Lauís attachment to the Young and Dangerous series continues with this story of young Chan Ho-Nam (teen idol Nicholas Tse) and how he became a Hung Hing boy. Young Ho-Nam spends his days pining after classmate Kelly (Lillian Ho) and hanging with buddies Pou Pan (Tsui Ka-Ho), Chow Pan (Benjamin Yuen), and the ever-important Chicken (Sam Lee). He gets drawn into the triad world when he finds himself disenchanted with school, alienated at home, and with no one to trust save the kindly Brother B (the returning Ng Chi-Hung). Ho-Namís initiation into the triad underworld is a rocky one, fraught with petty rivalries, inter-gang difficulties, and lots and lots of fighting. He makes a name for himself, but he also makes some enemies, including scummy Hung Hing boss Ugly Kwan (Francis Ng, returning to the role that made him).

This is overall an excellent flick thanks to the good sense of style and more realistic approach to the triad story. While there are still traces of triad glorification, the majority of the themes seem more human. For example, much of the film deals with finding courage, as well as injury, drug addiction, and plain old fear and shame H owever, the parallels the film draws between a gang fight and the Tiananmen Square massacre are really out of place. It just isnít appropriate to attempt political metaphor through a triad boyz film - the film should have done without the grainy cross-cutting.

On the plus side the acting is excellent. Nicholas Tse displays a surprising emotional intensity as Chan Ho-Nam, showing far more range than Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin has. Sam Lee is no Jordan Chan, but he brings his own personality and brash cockiness to the character of Chicken. Shu Qi is effective as a pivotal character in young Ho-Namís life, though it is ironic that she plays both his first and last lover (in Y&D 5). Francis Ng is surprisingly subdued, doing without the overacting that won him accolades for his earlier portrayals of Kwan. Perhaps that was a conscious choice, as his over-the-top acting from the first film would have been totally wrong for this film. Young and Dangerous 1 was a comic book movie. Young and Dangerous: The Prequel is still a comic book movie, but a far more gripping and effective one. (Kozo 1998)

 
Awards:

18th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards
• Winner - Best New Artist (
Nicholas Tse Ting-Fung)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Universe Laser
Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
Also see:

Young and Dangerous (1996)
Young and Dangerous 2 (1996)
Young and Dangerous 3 (1996)
Young and Dangerous 4 (1997)
Young and Dangerous 5 (1998)
Born to be King (2000)
Portland Street Blues (1998)
Those Were the Days (2000)

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

   
   
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