Reviewed by: mrblue
A Triad enforcer (Chan) in charge of a popular club fights to keep it from falling into a rival gang's hands.
One of the true undiscovered gems of HK cinema, The Club (from noted "HK New Wave" director Wong) provided an important stepping stone for the "heroic bloodshed" genre begun in the mid-80's with films such as John Woo's A Better Tomorrow. It was one of the first movies to successfully combine a serious crime drama along with high action. While the story is nothing revolutionary, Wong's tight direction along with a convincing portrayal from Chan (a former Triad) help lift The Club above the tidal wave of action/crime movies that would follow it. Even though there is no Woo-style gunplay, The Club sports some impressive fight sequences, including one between a man armed with a steel fan and two thugs with outboard motors, so those looking for a bit of bloodshed will not be disappointed.
Those interested in seeing the evolution of the modern HK crime film should definitely check out The Club.
Reviewed by: STSH
Summary: Better in the second half
There's a pretty good cast here, but I nearly switched off about 20 minutes in. There was nothing much I hadn't seen many times before in tons of other films about rascals. Even the great Michael Chan swaggering around and looking tough, which is what he does best, wasn't enough. I flipped over to the second side of the laserdisc (yes, I still have an LD player !), and things did improve. By that stage, M Chan's character had his two girlfriends attacked and was on the run to Japan, and the story started to gel.
Reviewer Score: 4
Still far from great stuff, and not as good as I'd heard it to be. This is, to date, the only film I've seen featuring Korean kicking machine Kwan Yung Moon which I've found to be on the dull side. Norman Chu was credited as co-star, but doesn't manage to add much to proceedings. The Club should have and could have been a lot better.