暗戰2
Running Out of Time 2 (2001)


Reviewed by: Hyomil
Date: 04/07/2011


Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: Beat TG
Date: 03/08/2008
Summary: Criminally underrated

I'm not sure why everyone's hating on this. I'll say that the original succeeded due to several factors: firstly, it was (beside Sean Lau and Benz Hui) Andy Lau who carried everything in the movie as he's popular among the audience, secondly the story was unique and fresh and went out from trends, and thirdly the movie had wonderful supporting cast to back the movie up. Here To takes the cat-and-mouse element, injects it in the movie and treats it differently yet it's as though the audience doesn't care after a while because the concept is now partly and it's been changed into a bit different of genre. To summon the differences, the original is more serious and uptight added with a bit of dark humor to accompany the moody as well as mystical tone of the movie, while this movie is lighter in nature, less serious/dark and features more dark humor that accompanies the ironic tone of it. But for me I think the whole sequel thing, where sequels expands more on what the originals left off or show for the better things to come, is getting so old and tiring that that itself is what brings them down and viewers expectations. From what I understand, To always tries to avoid standards and concepts and creates ideas by himself (and his team) and in RUNNING OUT OF TIME 2 he does exactly that, which I think leaves great impressions when it comes to his intended vision (nothing wrong going against that).

As usual, I can always depend on Sean Lau with his charisma as well as strong acting skills when he's on track, making an outstanding performance as the negotiator who uses his brains and skills to catch up with his main antagonist and facing lots of complications throughout the movie (courtesy of Benz Hui and Kelly Lin) during his job. I usually don't care about Ekin Cheng and his movies (except for the first three YOUNG & DANGEROUS movies where he was quite decent) but in this movie it must be said that he's great, probably his only great performance ever, and holds his own against the more effective players (Sean Lau, Benz Hui etc). Benz Hui and Lam Suet also turn into great performances, providing the humor mostly which is appreciative enough to do the movie justice. In general, actresses don't get a whole lot to do in To's movies but as of late, that began to change (when they started to cast new actresses or new talent) which is evident through Kelly Lin's performance. As always, she's been doing great in every movie she's done for Johnnie To/Milkyway Image ever since (FULLTIME KILLER although I don't like the movie, TRIANGLE and MAD DETECTIVE) and here she's no exception doing her best with her acting and carrying her portrayal in the right way and comes off looking great and convincing when she acts her characters out. And last but not least, credit def goes to Johnnie To and his always successful production which made it all happen. The man never disappoints, has yet to run out of ideas and is still working very hard to keep the HK movie industry alive. Hats off!

Overall, RUNNING OUT OF TIME 2 is yet another satisfying piece of filmmaking produced by Milkyway Image that's worth watching.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 12/06/2005

In the excellent original movie for which this is a sequel, Andy Lau actually was running out of time—he had or thought he had (or we thought he had) a disease that would kill him in a few weeks. As a master criminal who wanted one last big score and also win the ultimate round with his nemesis Inspector Ho he had to accomplish things quickly. While farfetched it served as a reason to suspend disbelief as Lau led Lau Ching Wan and his squad on a merry chase through the streets and offices of Hong Kong, scattering red herrings as he went.

The first big problem with the sequel (other than it has no life of its own and is completely derivative of the original) is that the deadline is essentially meaningless. Instead of a matter of life and death the target date is set by the success or failure of a business merger. While important, a stock swap between insurance companies has a lot less resonance than the imminent death of one of the protagonists —and, of course, a deal can always be postponed where one’s appointment in Samara is fixed—at least in the movies.

And while it is unfair to criticize Ekin Cheng for not being Andy Lau—what the hell, Ekin is no Andy Lau. His smirking smaryness begins to wear on one very early in the film. He isn’t able to get the audience on his side—his Thief comes across as a lightweight, able to fool the police time and again due less to his cunning than to their incredible incompetence. The Thief can do an amazing number of stunts—string a wire between two buildings and walk across it, set up a stadium sized magic show in an empty arena, train a bald eagle to be his sidekick—but he remains an empty suit.

Lau Ching Wan is as talented as any male actor working in film today and we can be thankful for the Hong Kong system of keeping hot properties in front of the camera almost continuously. He has appeared in twenty films since the original “Running Out of Time” in 1999 which might be more than a decade’s work for his peers like Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Daniel Autiel or Russell Crowe. We may well take his immense talent for granted—he doesn’t seem to have bad days, doesn’t phone in performances, doesn’t go out of his way to steal scenes or chew woodwork. He just continues to turn in excellent performances in starring roles—and almost makes “Running Out of Time 2” worth watching.

So the main relationship—the competition between Inspector Ho and the Thief—falls flat. The movie is partially saved by our interest in two secondary relationships—between the Thief and Inspector Ken (another perfect turn by Lam Suet) on one hand and between Inspector Ho and Theresa, the amped up, deal driven CEO, winningly played by Kelly Lin. By the way, for anyone who has been even peripherally involved with a CEO of a company during merger negotiations, the way Theresa was written and the way the character was played by Lin is somnolent compared with the real what actually happens. The meeting with her subordinates in which she listens to various difficulties they are having and then tells them that the deal has to be done and they simply have to work harder is just an indication of what goes on, This is a case of the screenwriter and director having to tone down reality in order to make it believable—and also not to turn “Running Out of Time 2” into “Wall Street—Hong Kong”.

Unfortunately, much of the action takes place during two chase sequences. Inspector Ho goes after the Thief, running through a downpour, loses sight of him several times only to be taunted into continuing the chase when the Thief reappears. It is very dull, goes on for much too long and has no real point in the narrative. It is just there. All that is remarkable about this sequence is that Lau Ching Wan keeps his collar buttoned and his tie in place during every moment of it. The other chase occurs when Inspector Ho’s squad and Theresa’s team of investment bankers unite to locate a bald eagle who accompanies The Thief. Not surprisingly the inspector and Theresa are the only ones in position to actually go after the bird. Another dull set of scenes which may have been included only for the last few seconds which show, cutely enough, the growing if unspoken attraction between Ho and Theresa.

The salvation of Inspector Ken, who is addicted to gambling and in big trouble with triad loan sharks, could have been the basis for a movie in itself. Even though The Thief is the agent of change, forcing Ken to see that he cannot win no matter how much he plays and no matter how "logical" his system of betting is, all of our empathy and sympathy is with the forlorn Ken. Lam Suet is excellent as Ken, showing fear, bravado, confusion and satisfaction using his lumpy body and mobile face. He is almost always paired with Ekin Cheng—in one case they sit next to one another on the top of a building, in two others they are across a restaurant table from each other—and Cheng’s inability to play anyone other than himself is unfavorably contrasted with Lam’s almost casual ability to express the core of a character with a movement or a few words.

The combination of dreary chase scenes, Ekin Cheng running the emotional gamut from A to....well from A to A, a deadline which is the reason for the all the action but one that the audience doesn’t care about and barely notices and a trite, shopworn climax makes “Running Out of Time 2” a movie that there is little reason to watch.

Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: paullo13
Date: 12/21/2002
Summary: I enjoyed this movie!!

Running Out of Time 2 is certainly one of the many great movie of 2002.Though, there are many criticisms which I dont understand why. I thought the movie was very enjoyable, very entertaining, stylish at the same time. The direction of the movie is smooth and clean, and the story is well told. The performance by Ekin was higly acceptable and for Chau Ching-Wan was excellent as always; he perhaps be the greatest Hong Kong actor to date, I think. Well, thats my opinion on it and if don't agree with me you can go out, rent it, and judge it yourself. Thank you for reading my review and hope you have a nice day. Oh yeah, the chic in the movie was hot


Reviewed by: wahwah
Date: 08/02/2002
Summary: what? there's a lack of everything and less.

this was certainly was a disappointing sequal to the fantastic first movie, but they did try.
ekin cheng just didn't have that spark andy lau did in the first movie! they were trying to make ekin's character as mysterious as andy's but it was really overdone. we didn't even know of ekin's name in the movie!
the movie was too full in the plots and climaxes that the characters were left too brief and shadowy.
the use of lam suet again in this sequal was wrong although the character couldn't be better played by him. lam suet was in the first "running out of time" and it's very weird to see him in the sequal as a completely different character!
all and all the plot and storyline was cool and the twists were supportive of that. lau ching wan and hui siu hung was as good as ever. they're performances was of no disappointment and their characters remained constant throughout the two movies which is definitely a good thing.


Reviewed by: resdog781
Date: 06/30/2002
Summary: if it ain't broke...don't effing fix it.

Apparently Johnnie To doesn't know the meaning of this phrase, as he puts out a completely extraneous sequel to his hit (and actually GOOD) first movie starring Lau CHing Wan and Andy Lau.

Here, Lau returns as the only competent actor in the entire movie, turning in yet another convincing, methodical and rational portrayal of the haggard police negotiator Sang.

That's where the compliments end.

Ekin Cheng is just slightly less credible than Andy Lau as a supersuave superthief, who steals a number of artworks from an insurance company, ransoming them off for $2 HK million. Which is about the equivalent of $100k in the US. Real smart Ekin. He doesn't even give a discernable reason as to why he's picking on Lau Ching Wan, as he only stumbled upon the case after the moron that was investigating Ekin (a completely wasted role for Lam Suet) almost jumps off a building because he's a compulsive gambler and can't stop playing "heads or tails" with Ekin. DOUBLE SIDED COIN, DUMBASS.

The normally hot Kelly Lin turns in a horribly stale performance as the world's stupidest female CEO, who Ekin Cheng stole the art from.

Then there's the most gratingly annoying idiot (whose name escapes me) who plays "Assistant Commisioner Wong Kai Fa", and insists on addressing himself as such every time he appears on screen, no matter how many times we see him. I have absolutely no idea how the hell this guy got a sweet job like assistant commisioner when he's a complete blithering IDIOT. He had to have been the real commisioner's son, or put multiple unsavory objects in his mouth at one time to land a job that outranks Lau CHing Wan. This guy should be hunted down and given a lobotomy so he won't act in any more movies. He's easily the most annoying HK actor I've ever seen, easily edging out the likes of Sam Lee and Hsu Chi. Hell, he makes Sam look like frick'n Chow Yun Fat!!!

This movie also heavily suspends the logic, and insults the intelligence of, the audience. How can a crowded street of people just walk by Lam Suet while he's getting the crap beaten out of him by no less than THREE THUGS!?!?! This scene single-handedly made me not want to go back to HK. To quote Chief Wiggum: "The law is powerless to HELP you, not PUNISH you."

*sigh* how the mighty have fallen. Piles of steaming dogshit like this movie and slickly made but completely vapid vanity films like "Fulltime Killer" have almost officially soured me on Johnnie To. Somebody get me an aspirin....

and WHAT THE HELL WAS UP WITH THE BALD EAGLE!!!!!!


Reviewed by: bcrain
Date: 05/13/2002

Written by: Brad Crain

I'm sure many people are going to say that this film is not as good as the first one, and they would be right. Many
people are going to say that Ekin Cheng is not as good as Andy Lau, and they would be right.....

However, if for nothing else, watch this film for Lau Ching-wan's wonderful performance. He is truly one of the greatest actors in the world. In the last 6 months, he has portrayed a bra designer (La Brassiere), a hip-hop mahjong conman (Fat Choi Spirit, which I have not yet seen), and an ace police negotiator (Running out of Time 2). His performances, including this one, are always a joy. In this film, he is funny, edgy, exasperated, tough, and cool. I thoroughly enjoyed
him.

Regarding the film itself, the plot revolves around a Robin Hood-style thief who steals precious art for a ransom, and then challenges a police negotiator to a game of "catch me if you can." The plot is simply an excuse to set up some "cool" scenes between Ekin and Lau, and most of these scenes worked for me. I particularly enjoyed scenes revolving around a smoke bomb in a police station and an extended chase scene which culminated with both participants on bicycles. I was
also surprisingly touched by the resolution of a small subplot involving Lam Suet's gambling addicted character and Ekin. This subplot was important to me as it finally allowed me to feel some sympathy for Ekin's character. Some elements of the film didn't work as well for me. The inexplicable speaking of English in various scenes, the ever-present eagle, and the stupidity of Lau's boss immediately come to mind. Those annoyances aside, I enjoyed this film. Lau Ching-wan was wonderful and director Johnnie To included some signature style. Finally, regarding Ekin Cheng, I
thought he was quite good in the film even though his character was not as interesting as Andy's in the original. While you're giving this sequel a chance, give Ekin a chance too.


Reviewed by: MilesC
Date: 04/30/2002
Summary: A Big Disappointment.

While the 1999 original wasn't Milkyway's deepest or edgiest offering, it was a good compromise between their uncompromising and no-frills house style and a more mainstream crowd-pleaser. The sequel is an attempt to repeat the same formula, but unfortunately it is inferior in nearly every respect. Let's compare...

1)One of the most notable elements of the original, Raymond Wong's soundtrack, has been largely recycled here, and while the original music has some good spots, much of it is noticebly inferior to that of the original.

2)Yes, Ekin Cheng IS unusually good here, but he's not as good as Andy Lau, to say nothing of their respective characters. There's nothing, at least in the macho world of movies, more stylishly tragic than a fatal disease that makes you spit up blood. Ekin has nothing comparable; while Andy's motivations were thin in the original, Ekin's are nearly non-existent here, and the character is not the interesting, tragic figure of the original.

2)The sequel has no bad guys. That's right, master filmmaker Johnnie To commited one of the biggest blunders one could make in a film like this by not giving us anyone to dislike. In the original, there were armed baddies after both the leads; in the sequel, we know that nobody's really going to get hurt.

3)There's a lot more bad, bad English in the sequel. The original had two passable lines from a Western extra, the sequel has lots of English from people who can speak it but not as a first language and definitely not as actors. I really hope that Kelly Lin is not going to become a Milkyway regular. I honestly can't figure out what her native language is, because nothing she speaks sounds like it.

4) The original didn't have any crappy CGI. The sequel has a couple of fairly embarrassing shots.

5) The scheme of the original, I think, is more clever and exciting than the sequel, though I have to admit this one had its moments.

On the bright side, other than the CGI ROOT2 is as technically accomplished as ever, offering, perhaps, better visuals overall than the first. And despite not measuring up to the original in almost every way that counts, there's still some fun to be had here. To be fair, I saw the film in Mandarin, which never helps. Despite a general lack of excitement due to the absence of danger- and the fact that nobody, really, is "running out of time," the performers still have a good deal of charm, and overall it's a reasonably entertaining, undemanding watch. Still, a sequel should at least try to outdo its predecessor to even warrant being made, and this one doesn't.

Edit: On second viewing, I'm afraid I was actually too nice to the film above. The films worst offense is that, although the pacing feels okay, it's actually very slow. The movie constantly feels behind where it should be; at the 40 minute mark it felt like I'd been watching for any hour, and at the hour mark it felt like the movie should've been close to over. It's not that the individual scenes are dull, for the most part; the movie just never feels like it's going anywhere more exciting. This is extremely surprising given how efficient and purposeful Johnnie To's classic crime movies feel.


Reviewed by: bcrain
Date: 04/06/2002
Summary: Give it a chance and savor Lau Ching-wan's performance!

I'm sure many people are going to say that this film is not as good as the first one, and they would be right. Many people are going to say that Ekin Cheng is not as good as Andy Lau, and they would be right.....

However, if for nothing else, watch this film for Lau Ching-wan's wonderful performance. He is truly one of the greatest actors in the world. In the last 6 months, he has portrayed a bra designer (La Brassiere), a hip-hop mahjong conman (Fat Choi Spirit, which I have not yet seen), and an ace police negotiator (Running out of Time 2). His performances, including this one, are always a joy. In this film, he is funny, edgy, exasperated, tough, and cool. I thoroughly enjoyed him.

Regarding the film itself, the plot revolves around a Robin Hood-style thief who steals precious art for a ransom, and then challenges a police negotiator to a game of "catch me if you can." The plot is simply an excuse to set up some "cool" scenes between Ekin and Lau, and most of these scenes worked for me. I particularly enjoyed scenes revolving around a smoke bomb in a police station and an extended chase scene which culminated with both participants on bicycles. I was also surprisingly touched by the resolution of a small subplot involving Lam Suet's gambling addicted character and Ekin. This subplot was important to me as it finally allowed me to feel some sympathy for Ekin's character. Some elements of the film didn't work as well for me. The inexplicable speaking of English in various scenes, the ever-present eagle, and the stupidity of Lau's boss immediately come to mind. Those annoyances aside, I enjoyed this film. Lau Ching-wan was wonderful and director Johnnie To included some signature style. Finally, regarding Ekin Cheng, I thought he was quite good in the film even though his character was not as interesting as Andy's in the original. While you're giving this sequel a chance, give Ekin a chance too.


Reviewed by: Sasami
Date: 03/27/2002
Summary: What a disappointment!

Except for the rehashed jokes, this movie sequel bears no resemblance to its predecessor. The original ROOT was fun. It was fast-paced. The first five minutes of it was rather confusing, but I loved how it tied in to a cat and mouse plot.

Lau Ching Wan plays the same character from ROOT: a negotiator with the HK police. He seems to have lost some brain cells though, as Ekin Cheng (as the dashing thief) inexplicably leads him on one wild goose chase after another.

It's almost as if someone said "Oh, let's try to squeeze out more money in the name of this movie! We'll take the same jokes, same music, same protagonist. But wait... we can't do the fatal illness thing again. Ah well. We'll just totally leave the motivation part out then! Plot? Eh, who cares, as long as we have hired a few people to put in some CGI effects!"

Oy.

As I watched this movie in utter befuddlement, I kept hoping that at some point, some basic plotlines would be revealed. But alas, that was not meant to be, as the credits rolled and I started screaming at the television.

Not recommended, as the only thing "running out of" in this movie was my patience.


Reviewed by: magic-8
Date: 03/22/2002
Summary: Running Out of Ideas

Johnnie To is running out of ideas as evidenced by "Running Out of Time 2." The sequel also stars Lau Ching Wan. Sporting the 'do from "La Brassiere," Lau squares off against Ekin Cheng, who tries the ushaven, scruffy look. If you've seen "Running Out of Time," then you'll notice that the sequel is a quick way to cash out. Cheng plays Lau's foil in ROOT2. The two leads are mildly engaging, using a script written en masse. You'd think that a script by committee would have one or two good things to show for it, but that is not the case. In the first film "Running Out of Time," there was a playful sense of cat and mouse between Lau and Andy Lau. In ROOT2, the playful mood is replaced by the characters' lack of motivation to do anything but annoy each other for the entire film. Humor seemed to be replaced with whining.

To tries to use his wits to cover up the lack of a script, while Raymond Wong's music for the sequel just didn't fit. In ROOT, Andy Lau's terminally ill character is matched by the melancholy of the musical score. In ROOT2, the music is out of place, clashing against what is happening on screen. What a mess. To's direction is technically efficient and too smart and cold, almost like he's detached and disinterested. The same locations from ROOT are featured in ROOT2, giving it a "why even bother" look. What was inventive in the first film is tired and lame in the sequel. ROOT2 limps along to what seems an interminable 90+ minutes.

There are two glimmers of hope within ROOT2, the first is Lam Suet, who steals all of the scenes that he's in and becomes more memorable than any of the male leads. The second ray of sunshine is from Kelly Lin. To my delight and utter surprise, Lin outshines the rest of the cast in a minor and supporting role. Both Lin and Suet excel, but not enough to save this film.


Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 03/21/2002
Summary: Okay movie

In this sequel to the popular Milkyway movie, Lau Ching-Wan returns as a beleagured cop, who once again must engage in a game of cat and mouse with a thief, this time Ekin Cheng. Ekin has stolen some valuable pieces of art from Kelly Lam's company, and she must get them back before she can merge with another company, and so it's up to Lau to get the pieces back. There are a couple of sub-plots thrown into the mix (most notably one with Lam Suet and his gambling problems), but mostly Running Out of Time 2 is one long chase scene, and that is its' main problem. The chase scenes just aren't exciting. One involves Lau and Kelly going after a badly animated CGI eagle, and another has Lau and Ekin engaging in what has to be the world's worst bicycle race.

While Running Out of Time 2 gets by on a lot of charm -- Lau Ching-Wan is his usual intense self, Ekin Cheng turns in a surprisingly good performance and Lam Suet offers good comic relief along with some pathos -- it's not enough to make the film anything other than average. It should tell you something that even Ekin Cheng's huge star power and Johnnie To's critical adoration failed to give Running Out of Time 2 any impact at the box office. Most damningly, there really seems to be no motivation for the characters to be engaged in this somewhat ridiculous overlong chase. While Ekin does well, he fails to provide a credible villain to Lau to compete with. Running Out of Time 2 felt like it had the basis to be a good movie, but it really manages to go nowhere during its' running time, and, as such is really only recommended is you're a huge Lau Ching-Wan, Ekin Cheng or Johnnie To fan.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]


Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 03/15/2002
Summary: The only person to say this is better than the original!!

OK i am in the minority again, but i thought this was BETTER than the original. Yeah sure the bad guy DOESN'T even have a motive of why the hell he is doing it, it is like just one big game.

The movie has a lot of style, and the bicycle scene i quite enjoyed. The theme music from the first movie is over used here.

Hui Siu-Hung plays a very annoying cop, and Lam suet is a out of luck gambling cop. Lau Ching WAn and Ekin Cheung plays there roles to perfection.

A enjoyable movie, but don't expect a mind blowing plot or a gret movie.

6.5/10


Reviewed by: danton
Date: 03/13/2002

Not quite sure what to make of this film. Looking at it in terms of storyline, character development etc., there's not much here at all. Hardly any plot, underwritten characters, no tension or conflict, nothing of the elements normally required to give a movie commercial appeal. In fact, the movie feels more like a filmmaking exercise, an experiment to see if you can forego adherence to narrative logic and simply create a film out of stringing together a series of "cinematic moments"! These moments don't quite add up to a whole lot, but I still found them well executed and beautiful to look at, so in that regard I am leaning towards a much kinder verdict than MrBooth.

In a sense, this sequel takes the original and distills it to it's pure, raw essence - two characters engaged in a game of cat and mouse. The first instalment tried to flesh out that game by providing character motivation, and some purpose to the action. The sequel offers none of that. Here's it's truly just action and reaction decoupled from any explanatory information such as character background. Almost a postmodernist approach - the deconstruction of a movie (a less generous, more cynical viewpoint would be that the filmmakers simply rehashed elements from the first film without bothering to create a convincing framework around them).

I'm probably trying too hard to justify why I enjoyed the movie, but the fact remains that I did. Not as much as the truly great Milkyway films of the past, but enough to give it a marginal recommendation. If you're sick and tired of the flood of predictable romantic comedies and CGI-action
flicks being churned out by HK lately, give this one a chance.


Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 02/05/2002
Summary: As expected...

I didn't plan on spending any money when watching this, and as I only borrowed the VCD (although bootleged) from someone, I am so glad I didn't buy it. I knew before watching it that it would probably be quite bad, especially after the disapointing first film, but this film is just terrible. I pretty much agree with the other reviews so I won't go any further, except for saying I do not recommend this to anyone.

Rating: 2/5


Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 01/21/2002
Summary: Disappointing sequel

Latest from Johnnie To & Milkyway, a fairly loose sequel to ROOT with Ekin Cheng (who isn't actually Running Out Of Time at all) replacing Andy Lau, and Lau Ching Wan playing the same basic role. It basically treads the same ground over again, but with the tension and cool of the first part replaced by a little bit of camp and a little bit of "oh dear". Kelly Lin plays a hard-assed business woman whose insurance company is blackmailed by Ekin (and whose all-Chinese colleagues choose to conduct their meetings in stilted English for some reason). She doesn't want the police involved because the publicity will hurt their upcoming merger, but Lau Ching Wan has been tapping her phone for some reason anyway, and tells her he's going to help her whether she likes it or not. Which coincidentally happens to be exactly what Ekin wanted and expected, as he wants to make LCW his unwitting assistant in crime.

The plot to the movie is flaky, to say the least, and seems too consciously to be trying to reproduce the first movie - several of the "cool" scenes are taken almost directly from the first ROOT. Other scenes are just embarrassing... sitting watching Kelly Lin and Lau Ching Wan chasing a CG bald eagle around the streets of Hong Kong I really found myself wondering "why am I watching this?". The movie is only 90 minutes, but I was checking my watch and ready to leave by the half way mark.

If it wasn't a Johnnie To film, and wasn't the sequel to ROOT, I'd probably have enjoyed it a lot more as nicely filmed (and soundtracked) slightly camp & dumb fun. As with Fulltime Killer last year though, ROOT2 suffers from the high expectations that Milkway image created with their first batch of intelligent and sophisticated action thrillers, which it fails to meet. I get the impression that To has definite career plans (perhaps not just for himself, but for the HK industry as a whole) and these are at the fore of his mind when he directs a movie now. If he just focussed on making a good, clever movie again I think he'd be more likely to meet success.

Best moments - all of Lam Suet's scenes. Worst moments - the eagle, the buoy, the tightrope, every scene with English spoken, every scene with Hui Siu-Hung hamming it up.

See it anyway, you'll always be curious if you don't, but don't expect something on the same level as ROOT/THE MISSION/A HERO NEVER DIES.

Reviewer Score: 3