Ungrateful Tink (1999)
Reviewed by: j.crawford on 2005-05-13
Summary: Production values are high.
[1999 was a good year.] At the Music Palace 9/25/99 with The King of Debt Collecting Agents. Cop Anthony Wong [Black Hair] and gangster Michael To [White Hair] grew up as brothers, linked by the suicides of one child's father and the other's mother. Black Hair is a cunning officer who takes 'black' money[bribes]. He has a serious gambling problem. White Hair is a triad killer, also cunning and on the rise to success as a gangster. The 2 maintain a friendship even though they are on opposite sides of the law. The bond between the two is strained, and ultimately broken, when Black Hair uses his position in an effort to wipe out his huge gambling debts.

Black Hair has a partner who is an honest cop. This young guy is very ambitious as well and uses Black Hair to advance his career. He is killed on the job and as a result, Black Hair begins to regret his evil ways. Meanwhile, White Hair is working for the triad boss, Nelson Cheung, to whom Black Hair owes his debt. Nelson wants White Hair to 'take care' of Black Hair. Ambitious White Hair kills Nelson and his life long buddy to finally work for big boss Simon Lui.

After Chau Sun's[Black Hair's] death, Dai Yu[White Hair] takes in his widow Lam Mei Jing, who finally revenges her husband with the help of ultimate super traitor Mr. Lui and White Hair's junior. Hence, the cycle continues.....

The script is very creative but suffers from too many characters, male and female, who are ambitious, cunning, and traitorous. The ones who seem the most heroic turn out to be filthy scoundrels. Credit should be given to the screenwriter for trying to bring fresh material to the heroic bloodshed genre. Production values are high and the action scenes are well done. Triad traditions like taking over property including wives and concubines, territory, and indebtedness are included in the story that starts in 1979 and finishes in Pre-Handover 1995. Heavy corruption among the HK Royal Police is implied when Black Hair's every attempt to bust Nelson's loansharking and gambling rings are thwarted by his senior officers.

Anthony Wong is as good as ever, looking more fit and handsome than he did in some other recent films. His transition from crooked cop to misguided hero is a joy to watch. Michael To does his best Chow Yun Fat impersonation and handles his scenes quite well.

copyright 1999 J. Crawford
Reviewer Score: 8