Winner Takes All? (1984)
Reviewed by: STSH on 1999-12-26
Summary: Unusual and disturbing, but only so-so
The ending scenes are very unusual for a HK film, and are a strong case against vigilantism. But the film doesn't work all that well, and it comes down to the director, who really couldn't seem to decide what sort of story this was. It starts as violent criminal vengeance, then creates calm-before-the-storm domestic harmony with Fung and daughter, who is is then horribly killed. The film is in trouble from this moment on, because, although Fung is clearly very upset, the feel of the film focusses on the comedy of the uncaring attitude of the police. Then it flips over to light romance between Ann and Joe. In short, the characters and the mood changes so much, and often for no good reason, that it's hard to get a grip. On the positive side, Stanley Fung plays very much against type, as a fairly wimpy and ordinary bloke (he frequently plays high-ranking police officers).
This could have been quite a good and even thought-provoking yarn. Instead, it's a moderately okay but pretty muddled tale of revenge going wrong.
Don't rush to see it.
Reviewer Score: 5