Reviewed by: Beat TG
Summary: Proof that Johnnie To can handle drama well
This one seemed like an interesting movie because of the fact that it's very similar to ALL ABOUT AH LONG in concept and cast/crew; with director Johnnie To and actors Ng Man Tat and Wong Kwan Yuen being the only relations to that movie. What I ended up seeing though was less melodramatic (thank goodness... that's one thing I thought ALL ABOUT AH LONG took for granted but just went too far with it) and more tragic, violent, and realistic.
Reviewer Score: 8
Damian Lau's father role was flawless and as the movie progresses we get treated to his own world of happiness, stress, depression, love, anger and fear as he goes through the worst the more he gets screwed up. Seeing these terrifying and cruel situations and outcomes was fascinating and gripping, something I think most Hong Kong movies, both past and today, are missing. Even the child actors were surprisingly good in their roles and held their own against everyone they acted against, and it was wonderful to see scenes between them where they take care of each other during all the situations and environment they found themselves in, showing that sometimes when the most responsible person isn't there for you and someone else, regardless of age, the only way to make it through is to take care of that other person and yourself. This also allows the story to show the strong band family members can have between each other.
Overall, it's a great movie that shows Johnnie To's strong capabilities as a dramatic director (after being familiar with his personal works for so long now) but I just wish it was longer (just as things got more interesting, it climaxed all the more).