surprisingly involving cops vs. themselves thriller stars Simon
Yam as a detective who unwittingly finds himself in the middle of
an illicit deal between the corrupt ICAC (HK’s own Internal Affairs
division) and despicable politicians (including Carrie Ng). The
ICAC is led by Zhang Feng-Yi, who played Leslie Cheung’s partner
in Farewell My Concubine. When Zhang discovers that Simon
is on to his various scams involving kickbacks, prostitution, and
the like, he sics the ICAC on Simon, framing him for taking a bribe.
With no one he can trust, Simon finds that his only ally turns out
to be Zhang’s second-in-command, a woman he knows only through a
wrong phone call made one lonely evening months ago.
Director Raymond Lee gives us an uncommon
genre picture painted with buckets of style. The existential themes
and stylish direction recall HK’s celebrated auteur, Wong Kar-Wai.
The film relies on subjective voice-over and temporal shifting to
get its message(s) across. It's debatable how much actual merit
the film's existential voice has, but the engaging style, cool soundtrack,
and convincing atmosphere make this a fun cinematic ride. This rich,
somewhat over-stuffed cop thriller is a different and exciting genre
film. (Kozo 1996)