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重案實錄之驚天械劫案 (1994)
Shoot to Kill

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 08/18/2007

Nick Cheung is one of Hong Kong's bigger actors nowadays, being a favorite of such varied directors as Wong Jing and Johnnie To. But most successful acting careers have humble beginnings, and Cheung's is no exception. One of his first starring roles, 1994's Shoot to Kill, is a good example of this. Shot on video on a miniscule budget, no one was going to get rich on this production, and one figures Cheung did this movie as a payback to Danny Lee, who gave Cheung his start via the Magnum Pictures release (of which this is also one) Thank You Sir.

In the movie, Cheung plays an ex-con who half-heartedly tries to go straight before hooking back up with his old gang. They begin a series of robberies and find some success, but Cheung's penchant for violence begins to attract attention from both the cops and the Triads. After one big job, the bloodshed becomes too much for the police (led by Danny Lee of course) to take, and a determined detective (Parkman Wong) makes it his mission to take the gang down at any cost.

It's kind of a shame that this movie is so low-budget, since Nick Cheung gives a very solid performance here. He seems to relish playing a psycho and brings a nice bit of panache to the part without going over the top. Perhaps if Shoot to Kill was actually shot on film and better contructed as a whole (the director pads the thin eighty minute running time with lot of filler shots and slow motion) Cheung might have been able the whole "Stephen Chow lite" aura he had going for a few years via pictures like Tricky Master -- though, of course, those sorts of films made some money, which probably allowed Cheung to branch out into artier affairs such as last years' Exiled.

Before wrapping up this review, some note must be made of Shoot to Kill's level of violence. It's not the most blood-spattered Category III movie ever made, but it's pretty obvious that the film-makers must have saved what little they could out of the budget for squibs, because there's a hell of a lot of them used here. But even gallons of fake blood can't totally dig Shoot to Kill out of its' low-budget hole, and unfortunately, that means it could never really hope to be something other than average.

Note: The City Connection DVD does not have English subtitles. As far as I know, there is no version of this movie available that does have them.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]

Reviewer Score: 5