6 AM (2004)

Reviewed by: Brian Thibodeau
Date: 09/08/2010
Summary: A sharp witted gangster yarn

First starring vehicle for Kenny Kwan and Steven Cheung of the pop music duo Boy'z taps an agreeable AFTER HOURS/INTO THE NIGHT vein, casting the pair as chronic slackers recruited by bottom-rung triad boss Michael Chan to inflate his ranks at top dog Ray Lui's regional "war council", where they're chosen to exact a particularly bloody revenge on a vicious rival named Serpent (Roderick Lam) at exactly 6 a.m. the next morning. Handsomely remunerated in advance for their "glorious mission" but desperately unqualified beyond movies they've seen about "cool" gangsters—a couple of which are winked at in quick fantasy sequences—and fearful of not completing the task, they opt to spend what could be their final night on earth blowing Lui's cash, first by winning an even larger sum from his underground casino, then buying their way into a movie being shot in the neighborhood with superstars Charlene Choi and Gillian Chung (of the music phenom Twins), who play themselves. The pair also crosses paths with crooked cop Tats Lau, cab driver Law Kar-ying and neighborhood bully Cheung Tat-ming (ironically the root cause of their current predicament), all of whom unwittingly give them the means to redeem themselves and deter Cheung's sister (Zeny Kwok) from repeating their mistakes in life. Director Adrian Kwan has a couple of Christian movies under his belt, so the theme of redemption and a near-mythical villain who physically resembles a demon should come as no surprise. Seemingly aware that their attractive leads don't exactly ooze charisma, Kwan and writer Tsang Kan-cheung—both of whom cameo as gangsters in a funny early sequence involving an elevator—propel them through an urban maze of amusing, unpredictable incidents populated by strong supporting players and clever cameos, played out against captivating nighttime exteriors by Wong Ping-hung.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 02/25/2006
Summary: Agree with mr blue

Ok, firstly of this typing,due to my dvd skipping, i have not seen the ending of this movie.
A few laughs and some scenes feel like they are dragged out, especially when the comedy doesnt work.
The one good thing i can say about this movie is Ray Lui, his role is over the top which does bring a few laughs.
I did enjoy some of the sayings/philosophy that was brought out, which is along the lines of we dont savour the time we have with each other!!
Apart from this, there is not much to recommend.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: barrst
Date: 02/05/2005
Summary: Very good comedy

I found it extremely and consistently funny. I guess the hkfilm.net reviewer doesn't like this kind of comedy. Not all the humor works, of course, but the majority did.

The minor problems I had with the movie were a) some of the acting wasn't very good, and b) some scenes were stretched to get the movie to last 90 minutes.

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 02/01/2005

If you looked up “bland” in the dictionary, chances are that you would find a picture of Kenny Kwan and Steven Cheung (aka the bubblegum pop duo Boy'z). There's nothing disturbing or that off-setting about them, but they're about as exciting as watching the Weather Channel. And when you're asking this “undynamic duo” to carry a movie, that's asking too much for most people to sit through, this reviewer included.

6 AM has Kwan and Cheung playing school chums who take to posing as “extras” for a local gangster (played by long-time HK Triad mainstay Michael Chan) while they are trying to avoid being beat up by the neighborhood bully. The kids are brought to a Triad ”war meeting”, where they are recruited to chop the hand of a gangster who disgraced the local “big brother” (portrayed by Ray Lui). Armed with a wad of cash, they have until six in the morning to complete their task – but they run into a series of obstacles along the way which threatens their mission.

The plot here itself isn't too bad, but ultimately the movie feels like it goes nowhere. Even with generic actors, talented film-makers can usually pull something out. Sadly, that is not the case here. The script is by-the-numbers and the characters never fully develop; when the actors are supposed to be displaying real emotion near the finale, it comes off as hollow. Other areas of the film fall short as well -- 6 AM even falls prey to one of the most-often used crutches of film-makers: a sappy musical montage. When it was used in this instance, instead of grabbing a kleenex to wipe away the tears, I wanted to grab the remote and turn off my DVD player.

These shortcomings might have been forgiven if 6 AM was actually funny, but, besides a few small chuckles, there's not much here to tickle the funny bones of viewers. The movie tries its' hardest at Stephen Chow-style “nonsense” comedy with lots of movie parodies, but since Kwan and Cheung have little of the chemistry of Chow, the parodies – like the rest of the film – falls flat. Even if you're a die-hard Boy'z or Twins (who, despite their high billing, only appear for a short time) fan, you must have something better to do with your time than watching this snoozer.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]