Century of the Dragon (1999)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2005-07-20
Summary: A good triad movie
Taken straight from the Hong Kong Police Academy and sent to infiltrate one of the most murderous triads, a young trainee police officer is on his own. With no support from the police establishment and only one contact among the command officers he spends years living a double life while working his way into the confidence of the triad leadership.

It sounds like “Infernal Affairs” and even shares Andy Lau and Anthony Wong with IA, but was made three years earlier. “Century of the Dragon’s” is best when showing the gritty, seamy side of triad life—the strong victimize the weak, the leaders try to keep their subordinates in check while the underlings do everything they can to weaken their bosses. There is as much conflict within the gangs as there is between them.

Andy Lau is Fei-loong, a former triad leader who has gone straight. He hosts big charity bashes, runs international companies and keeps his hands clean. Unfortunately, his triad connections are very sticky—old gangster buddies show up at the worst times. As Chi-shing, Louis Koo is the young cop who is deep undercover among the triad thugs and whose target was Fei-loong. When Chi-shing realizes that Fei-loong actually is what he seems to be—an honest businessman who has broken with his gangster past—he is unable to resolve the contradictions. When his contact within the police force is replaced with a possibly corrupt and definitely brutal cop his problems increase.

Suki Kwan is terrific as the perfect wife for a former triad kingpin. Attractive, sexy, tough, unquestioningly loyal, willing to die for her husband—just about everything one could ask for. Joey Man is a hooker who not only has a heart of gold but is courageous and smart—she is both decorative and effective.

An above average entry in the crowded triad field.

Reviewer Score: 7