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(1994)
The Final Option


Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 10/08/2003

This film details the story of a young cop (Yung) who joins the SDU (the HK equivalent of a SWAT team) after his partner is killed and the problems he endures with his tough commander (Wong) and girlfriend (Lee). After a series of high-profile robberies, the SDU is called in to bring down the gang responsible, and of course, Yung finds himself right in the middle of the action. Most of the film's running time is dominated by training scenes; some of the stuff was interesting, but most of it was just plain boring. You can only hear people talking about ballistics and bulletproof vests for so long. Probably the movie's "high" point is a scene where Wong tells his team to not call him a gweilo -- in some of the worst Cantonese I've ever heard. He should just stick with English lines. Anyway, Final Option's title is appropriate. I wouldn't recommend watching it unless you have nothing better to do.


Reviewed by: ipkevin
Date: 05/18/2002
Summary: Early Work by Action Master

Director Gordon Chan has become the premier HK director when it comes to intense and highly realistic (in terms of tactics and weapons-handling) shootouts. He can literally stage and shoot them better than the top Hollywood masters - Simply watch the garage shootout in "2000 A.D." to see what I mean. And what was the film that put him on this road? "The Final Option", of course! Following a young officer's indoctrination into the SDU (Hong Kong's SWAT/counter-terrorism team) and his eventual missions on the team, Final Option is rock solid action thriller. Being Chan's first 'realistic action' film, the technique isn't quite as polished as one might expect of him. However, it does have one of the better stories he's ever worked with. It has real heart (without falling into melodrama) and you feel for the characters. When the action does come (the last 30 minutes are essentially one large action scene), it is interesting and well-staged, but lacks that "snap" and thrill to it that elevates the best action sequences. The bigger budget sequel to this film is called "First Option" and it basically is the reverse of this one: Lots of amazing action, very thin story.


Reviewed by: grimes
Date: 04/08/2000

This flim primarily follows the story of a group of SDU new recruits being trained by Stone
Wong (Michael Wong). One of the reasons I preferred this film is that the characters are fleshed out by having a life outside
of their job. Though many action films totally botch this concept by turning it into poor melodrama, Final Option handles
this fairly well, focusing on May (Carman Lee), who gradually forms a relationship with Peter Yung (can't remember the
name of his character) and Stone Wong's relationship with his girlfriend Windy.

Michael Wong is no better or worse than usual, but I enjoyed Peter Yung and Carman Lee's performances. The film has a
decent number of action scenes including a final scene with lots of explosions. However, much of the film is devoted to
scenes of SDU training that will recall to mind any number of Hollywood films about Navy Seals, army recruits, elite police
officers, etc. so it may not please people expecting to see an action extravaganza.


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

A competently made and enjoyable movie. Despite lack of localpolice support and limited budget (less than US$1 million) it manages to give a pretty realistic depiction of the elite HK police SDU programme (especially the training sequences). The film focus on a rookie group of SDU and the less than perfect but always prevalent esprit-de-corps among them. However for people who are looking for an explosive and action-packed movie, I should warn that this movie might not be what you are looking for.

(7/10)



[Reviewed by Christopher Fu]