Once Upon a Time in Triad Society (1996)
Reviewed by: STSH on 2007-01-28
Summary: Awful
This film is horrid. Whether its purpose was to provide a star vehicle to show off Francis Ng's full range (which it does), or present a gritty and realistic antidote to other crime-glamourizing films of the Young And Dangerous form (which also it does), there is no mistaking that this is a hard film to sit through.

Sympathize with Kwan ? Good grief, never ! The only time he is shown in any sort of good light is when he is lying and, though the script tries to cover for this, it does so in a fairly transparent fashion. Kwan is a thoroughly detestable misanthrope with no redeeming features, and inspires no resonance even as an anti-hero. I repeat, there is never any doubt about this.

Two other films come to mind here. Goodfellas, and To_Be_Number_One. OUATITS is slightly better than TBNO, which is not saying much. The only shade of humour in this very black landscape is near the ending when, like a cockroach, he seems to resist all attempts to be killed. Nastiness pervades every aspect of this production.

Be warned : if the explicit sight of people being forced to eat shit and drink urine is likely to offend, avoid ! Though I like Francis Ng as an actor, and does a great job with the part, I sincerely recommend avoiding this film.
Reviewer Score: 1