Reviewed by: mrblue
Summary: Okay young Triad flick
A look at "teddy boys" (young gangsters) in 1960's Hong Kong, focusing on a guy named, well, Teddy (played by Leslie Cheung) who -- like many protagonists in films of this type -- is actually a good guy who has just gotten into the Triad lifestyle to help support his mahjongg-addicted mother. The plot revolves around Teddy being framed for a vicious rape/murder, with Charles Heung (perhaps in a bit of irony, or in an attempt to clear his name, as he is the son of a real-life Triad boss) playing the mandatory one good cop who tries to help him out.
Like many crime movies cranked out in the early 1990's, this is fairly standard Triad stuff. The difference from similar films in the genre is that it is more of a period piece. There is a more relaxed attitude in here which might prove off-putting to some viewers, but it actually allows the characters to develop more -- to a point. Despite its' attempts to become something more, Arrest the Restless ultimately falls into cliche and stereotype. Just about every generic character falls into the mix here, and this tends to grind the film down in parts.
If you were expecting some Category III over-the-top violence to liven things up, you will probably be disapponted. There are a couple of violent scenes (including one where Leslie's girlfriend Vivian Chow gets acid dumped on her face), but the rating I suspect comes more from the fact that some of the characters are based on real people (or just for "young Triad" shenanigans in general) than for violence. At any rate, Arrest the Restless is nothing mind-blowing, but it does provide some decent entertainment, mostly through the star power of Leslie Cheung. Even though he looks a bit old to be playing a young hooligan, Cheung does manage to create an interesting and sympathetic character that should manage to hold the viewer's attention, even though the rest of the film is strictly by-the-numbers.
[review from www.hkfilm.net]
Reviewed by: hktopten
The Incorruptible meets Days of Being Wild. I guess this is Win's Production's attempt at it. Sigh. Leslie is the head greaser as usual, Vivian is his object of desire, and Heung Wah Keung is Nam Kong, the rough as nails police detective. Somebody tell me what happened, as I am NOT going to sit a film with Vivian Chow playing a lead.
Reviewed by: hkcinema
A somber, gritty, and overall depressing film about youth gangs and crooked cops set in 1960's Hong Kong. Leslie Cheung is a good-hearted juvenile punk "teddy boy" who is framed for rape and murder by crooked cops to cover up for their benefactor's son's misbehavior. The impossibly pretty Vivian Chow is on hand as Leslie Cheung's girlfriend and takes a pretty hefty beating by the end of the film (which is rather hard to watch if you're a fan of hers). But everything turns out okay in the end - the good guys win, the good cop gets promoted, the villains are punished or dead, Vivian is rehabilitated, and Leslie Cheung goes on to become a legendary pop star. Similar in look and feel to "It's Now Or Never", but not nearly as grim.
[Reviewed by Adam Scott Pritzker]