Beast Cops: A bunch so-called ‘policemen’ (how they’re remained gainfully employed was the biggest plot hole) get a new boss that tries to shake things up a bit. Unfortunately this one takes about 50 minutes of 1-dimensional character-building before anything interesting happens; we got it after 5 minutes – there’s no honour among thieves in Hong Kong! The acting’s very hit-or-miss, ranging from subtly great to parodic overacting, and at times the script makes it feel like a sexual awareness campaign. Other than the lame credits the style’s quite slick and does a great job in distracting you from the plain story, however the main actors break the fourth wall several times, which is strange and unnecessary. The last fight is a pretty epic and brutal affair, and generally everyone in this film ends up getting a machete lodged in their neck at some point. To sum up, this is the epitome of a bog-standard Asian cop flick with a twist of ‘gritty street’ thrown in for good measure. Talks the talk all over the DVD box but fails to walk the walk.
Wasabi: 2001 French-Japanese flick by Luc Besson that didn’t really know what kind of film it wanted to be. Touted as an action film, but there weren’t any proper fights ’til over an hour in, and what little action there was looked ridiculous (like a surreal manga adaptation). Was supposed to be a cop film, but was more like a parody of the naked gun, which is already a parody. The story was very thin and the acting’s pretty weird as the cast all play horrible stereotypes. On the other hand it looks pretty good. Definitely a case of style over substance (the default audio track is dubbed English!) but worth a look if you like Besson’s stuff. Would put it in the same category as the original Taxi or a crap re-make of Black Rain!!!
One night in Mongcock: the film follows a rookie hitman in the most densely-populated area in the world (Mongcock). It’s a pretty good story, the police hunting a hitman, who’s hunting a triad gangbanger… so it’s pretty cat-and-mouse through the film. More drama than action though, with some awesome edge-of-your-seat suspense moments, and the typical dose of Asian symbolism and unethical policing chucked in for good measure! Decent enough film.