without any shadow of a doubt, Andy Lau's best film.
Don't get me wrong - he's appeared in some excellent films, but
they pale in comparison. The reason for this is not in the story,
script, or action, but the fact that Andy actually IS Wah Dee.
So many of his characters are, well, Andy Lau playing Andy Lau.
However, this is the only film in which he seems really committed
to his portrayal of Wah Dee, and you can really appreciate what
a fine actor he is - when he wants to be! In fact, all of the actors,
including the smaller parts, are excellent, creating a thoroughly
believable world in which all the events occur.
All of the above merits could have been rendered useless if the
soundtrack had been the usual "library music" you so often hear
in Hong Kong productions - in this case it isn't. The soundtrack
ranks as one of my favourite of all time - the songs capturing exactly
the mood and feelings portrayed on screen. As you may have guessed
- I love this film!
Wah Dee (Andy Lau) is just another smalltime punk, an orphan dragged
up on the mean streets of Hong Kong. A loner, he handles cars and
bikes like a racing champion, and is enlisted by psychotic Triad leader Trumpet (Tommy
Wong) as the getaway driver for a heist that goes horribly wrong.
To keep the police off his trail, Wah Dee takes a girl named Jo
Jo (Wu Chien Lien) hostage. Fearing that she will betray them, Trumpet
orders her executed, forcing Wah Dee to sever his allegiance with
the gang by defending her. The only daughter of wealthy parents,
Jo Jo is drawn to Wah Dee’s lawless lifestyle, while he, cast
in the unfamiliar role of protector, discovers in her an innocence
that he himself has lost long ago. On the run, hunted by both sides
of the law, their desperate love is doomed from the start…
is excellent - clear, only slight speckles and only fleeting artifacts. It's a 100% improvement on the
VHS version and is definitely worth upgrading to.
sound on the other hand doesn't fare so well. The main reason for
this is NOT Media Asia's fault, it's the original soundtrack.
The VHS version has a very "hollow" sound to it - a bit like listening
through a tube. Unfortunately so has the DVD version. This only
occurs on the sound effects and not on the dialogue or music, but
it is somewhat distracting.
Also, the Mandarin track has Mandarin versions of the songs, which
is an added bonus, but due to a technical problem, in one scene
the songs from BOTH soundtracks play over each other - creating
a jumbled mess. After the song, the soundtrack sorts itself out
- but this is still annoying.
are good - exactly the same as the VHS version - containing the
odd grammatical error but are fine other than that. The songs, and
scenes with writing, are all subtitled - Hooray!
totally biased towards this film - I loved it on VHS and now on
DVD I love it even more. If you don't already own the VHS version:
buy it! If you do: buy it again!