Young and Dangerous 3 (1996)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2009-06-26
Summary: Back on track after a near derailment...
In my opinion, the Young and Dangerous series got back on a strong footing with the third installment. Roy Cheung is the star of the film, playing a flamboyantly nasty character and probably having tons of fun doing it. Francis Ng has a good turn as his toned-down sidekick, and is very different than his original character of Uncle Bee, a testament to his acting skills. The introduction of the scene-stealing Karen Mok is a great improvement as well, with her entrance being one of the most standout I can remember in quite awhile. She grabs the viewer's attention and enhances every part she's in. Her interactions with Chicken (Jordan Chan) are entertaining, but not the most chemistry-filled encounters. They play off each other well but don't exactly come off as a great couple. The use of Amsterdam as one of the main locales for dirty business is quite interesting, and got me researching the Chinese immigration to that part of Europe more. I had no idea at the time the amount of Chinese that live there and have for decades. After awhile though it becomes a little tedious and uncomfortable, as a slight tinge of race differences come into play. It's probably something that shouldn't be avoided in films about triads and gangsters, but for some reason it felt unwelcome to me. Couple this with the incredibly ungraceful and painful looking dive that Ekin Cheng takes into the Amsterdam canal and I couldn't wait for the film to take us back to Hong Kong. Unfortunately, the film ends there with an atrocious fight between the Hung Hings and the upstart Ting Sung group. The handheld camera doesn't work well this time and the whole thing looks sloppy and amateurish. I expected more of an explosive ending than what was presented. However, the rest of the film produced enough memorable parts to make it enjoyable as a whole, despite the slight letdown. On a separate note, there is an interesting scene when the movie star girlfriend of Simon Lam's character is kidnapped by Cheung and Ng and forced to take nude photos for blackmail purposes. I couldn't help but wonder whether this was a reference to the incident in which Carina Lau was kidnapped by triad members and forced to do almost exactly the same thing. This happened in 1990 and Y&D 3 was released in 1996. It wasn't until last year (2008) that Lau admitted what had happened. The similarities are too many to simply be a coincidence in my eyes. An interesting tidbit in a very good film.

Reviewer Score: 8