assaulting a fellow officer following a botched raid, Bill Zhu (Lau
Ching-Wan) is transferred to the 'Emergency Unit': a group of
officers who patrol the streets of Hong Kong in Police vans.
Bill is teamed with an eclectic bunch of cops (by-the-book Jeff,
cutie-pie Apple, gun-worshipping Matt, and old stager Dan), and
having been put in charge of this unit, must also keep control of
Headed by Professor (Yu Rong-Kwong), a group of gun-toting thieves
are out on the streets of Hong Kong causing mayhem. Killing Bill's
friend and colleague in a hectic restaurant shoot-out causes Bill
to ignore his orders and track down the gang.
But will Bill's new team be willing to follow him into the danger
zone, and possibly out of their jobs?
Whilst the film has some rather bloody shoot-outs, Benny
Chan's '96 movie never takes itself too seriously, and thanks
to an impressive script, provides a group of distinct E.U. team-members
for the viewer to grow attached to.
Apart Lau Ching-Wan's excellent portrayal
of Bill Zhu, a quite brilliant line-up of characters are placed
I've always been a big fan of Jordan Chan,
and once again he fails to disappoint. His initially stuffy and
straight-laced character is fleshed out particularly well, and his
subsequent change of heart therefore feels very natural.
In fact, the whole cast, and in particular Bill's four E.U. team-mates,
play their roles with a great deal of warmth and each is given a
moment to shine.
For example, the adorable Apple, played by Theresa
Lee, is so utterly cute that she could quite easily have become
utterly irritating. But thanks to some great dialogue and a couple
of action scenes, this possible problem never arises.
Action scenes are impressive, and well directed, as is the film
as a whole.
However, my main sticking point comes in the film's finale, which
although unfolds inside a huge plane, runs out of steam very quickly.
To sum up the movie in two words, I'd have to say "ensemble
This really is one of those rare occasions when a group of talented
actors are placed on-screen, given a great script, and are allowed
to let their natural chemistry flow, producing a wonderfully entertaining
hour and a half.
films' opening, the transfer looks very soft, lacking fine detail.
Although at times the image appears to sharpen somewhat, the overall
clarity on offer is poor.
Smearing can also be seen on a number of occasions, but artifacting
is not in evidence.
The movies primary colours are reproduced well, although due to
the soft image, they appear to bleed slightly.
As a large part of the film occurs at night, blacks are thankfully
deep and solid, with shadow detail remaining good throughout...
A transfer which just about does the job.
not listed in the credits, as far as I can tell, the films was shot
in synch-sound. I think it's due to this fact that the characters
come across so well, as none of their performance is lost due to
These synch-sound credentials should also guarantee a good 5.1 mix...unfortunately,
Directional effects are very good, with crisp sound being effectively
panned across the front speakers. However, dialogue is often muffled
and can be slightly off-putting to listen to, as it feels as if
your ears have "popped".
aspect of this disc by some way....
Let's get the positives out of the way first:
The general standard of the subs are good, and Chinese dialogue
is translated with little problem.
All of the verbal jokes are translated well enough for Western viewers
to understand and appreciate.
Now onto the bad:
English dialogue is spoken in fairly large chunks throughout, but
the accompanying subtitles bear no relation to it whatsoever.
Anthony Wong's Italian-speaking villain fairs far worse, with all
of his linguistic skills being reduced to a single "Damn",
no matter how many words are spoken.
Spelling and grammar errors are frequent, although to be fair, they
aren't particularly distracting.
And last, but not least, Chinese dialogue is often simplified, leaving
long exchanges reduced to single lines of subtitles.
you expect? A Making Of...? Out-take footage? Wishful thinking....
Star Files for Lau Ching-Wan, Jordan
Chan, Theresa Lee, Cheung
Tat-Ming and Benny Chan.
The Theatrical trailer - which is left unsubtitled.
Trailers for Expect The Unexpected, Lifeline,
The Longest Nite and Young And Dangerous
this doesn't sound too good, does it? Not great image quality, not
great sound quality, and below average subs....but a great film....
For the cost of the disc (about £4) and the quality of the
film, even with the aforementioned shortcomings this is still a
highly recommended purchase.