Breaking News (2004)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2005-07-06
Summary: No danger means no fun.
Breaking News is a decent action film, but the lack of tension detracts from the overall feeling of the film. In a picture like this, the audience has to feel the danger created in the situations in order to connect with the characters. If there is a gun battle in the streets, one has to feel the risk and be sucked into the action. Unfortunately I got none of these feelings while watching this movie. The opening of the film is a 7+ minute, single-take gun fight between the team led by Richie Ren and the local cops, led by Nick Cheung. I assume the scene was supposed to be similar to the famous one in the Michael Mann directed "Heat," but it fails in comparison. Yuen (Richie Ren) and his team are so lackadaisical in the midst of the battle that you never get any feeling that they (or the cops for that matter) are in danger at all. They saunter down the street, casually firing their weapons in the direction of the cops and slowly get in a stolen vehicle. Later, when they abandon the car, they once again stroll down the street while a hail of bullets from the cops rain after them. I'm not sure if their attitude was supposed to show their callousness and complete lack of emotion in shooting at and killing people, but it did not have the desired effect. Instead you get the feeling that they are in a video game with an unlimited life cheat code entered. There is no fun if there is no challenge. Overall, the idea of the media being used as a pawn between the cops and robbers is a good one, but the tension that should exist is not there. The performances are good, but not enough to save the film from mediocrity.
Reviewer Score: 6