Purple Storm (1999)
Reviewed by: Arshadnm6 on 2005-04-22
Summary: Daniel Wu does the acting of his life time to bring us another stylish action flick!!!
Teddy Chan (director of the action-packed ‘Downtown Torpedo’s’) directs yet another action-packed Hollywood-style wannabe with few well-known cast but surprising turns out to exceed itself in terms of entertainment and storyline.

The basic plot is as follows: Todd (Daniel Wu, from roles in other movies such as ‘Gen-X-Cops’ and ‘2000AD’) is a Khmer Rouge terrorist working for a sadistic evil rebel ‘Soong’ (played by ‘Kam Kwok-Leung’). Soong’s plan is to wipe out the whole of South-East Asia with a highly volatile gaseous substance named ‘Purple Storm’. When the Purple Storm is dissolved into the rain it will liquefy people into a bloody red-purplish mess acting as a nerve gas.

During a raid on a military ship, Soong’s Plan to capture the ‘Purple Storm’ goes awry which results in Todd having an accident, hitting his head against a large container (like that was original!!). Anyway surprisingly enough, Todd loses his memory of all his childhood and knowledge of terrorist activities and is promptly captured and impounded by HK’s Elite anti-terrorist unit. The anti-terrorist unit is lead by the zealous and sometimes over-confident ‘Emil Chow’ (from other recognizable roles in ‘Alls Well, Ends Well 97’ and ‘Gorgeous’). Unfortunately the anti-terrorists only hope of finding the ‘Purple Storm’ is by inhumanly brainwashing ‘Todd’ and making him believe that he was an undercover agent all along, whom had infiltrated a notorious gang of terrorists lead by ‘Soong’. Unfortunately something had gone wrong and when they had made contact with ‘Todd’ it was too late. Therefore, innocently ‘Todd’ begins to believe that he is in fact a member of the anti-terrorist unit and tries to help with the case. Meanwhile ‘Joan Chen’ (from other roles in US films like ‘The Hunted’ and ‘Judge Dredd’) makes an appearance as a Psychiatrist whom is trying to help Todd remember some of his memories, mostly to do with the case in hand, but also takes it upon herself to make him a righteous and noble person so that he may turn away from his terrorist-ways. Typically Todd begins to personify a child-like behaviour trying to distinguish between right and wrong and create a new free life were he can be in control. Unfortunately as Soong would have it, he intends to recapture Todd, unaware that he is suffering from amnesia, and activate the ‘Purple Storm’ project.

In contrast to its predecessors, namely ‘Downtown Torpedo’s’ and ‘Gen-X-Cops’, Purple Storm relies on a rigid storyline structure with more emphasis on emotional matters and the correlations between serving justice and serving beliefs and far less on pop-star good looks and the vulgar attitude that is displayed in it’s predecessors. Emil Chow and Josie Ho do great justice to the personification of Todd’s character and his beliefs and the storyline thickens when he has to choose between them. Daniel Wu carries the film very well and is the main star in this extravaganza, with the participation of ‘Stephen Tung Wai’ in the action-choreography the action sequences are classy and unique. There is the usual aura of character development and background description, with the obvious flashbacks playing in, but seems somewhat sporadic since the genre of the film is action mainly. Regardless this movie is a place above the rest of the films that embrace this new Hollywood style action choreography and certainly should not be regarded in any form trashy or pointless.

Overall Rating: 7.8/10