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童黨 (1988)

Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 04/18/2019
Summary: Years before US's

Gangs is a straight-forward, unflinching look at teens in Hong Kong that have lost their way through a variety of situations. Big K and Little K, brothers and members of the Sun Hing gang, are heading in different directions. Big K (Ricky Ho) realizes that the gang doesn’t offer any future, and their lives are at the mercy of their relatively out-of-touch Big Brother Wen. Little K enjoys the excitement of the gang life, but is in over his head. After a brawl with a rival gang leaves multiple members dead, the remaining group goes into hiding and tries to figure out what to do with their injured friends. Big K and his best friend Little Demon have to figure out how to navigate the delicate situation that is left in front of them.

Gangs reminded me a lot of “Kids,” Larry Clark’s groundbreaking mid-90s film that showed the other side of life for teens lacking any adult supervision or guidance. As with Kids, there are generally no parents to be found in Gangs, save for Big K and Little K’s father (a former gang member himself) and mother. The rest are drifting without any supervision... fighting, drinking, having sex and burning rats alive in the gutters. School is a non-factor. The adults the kids do interact with are basically just children in adult bodies, long-time gang members who have never really left the fold or the lifestyle. The entire film is very dark and pretty depressing with an ending that doesn’t really wrap anything and leaves you without much hope. Enjoyable though for the fact that it doesn’t feel as glamorous as a “Young and Dangerous” film and seems much more realistic. This was the first on-screen appearance for a majority of the young actors and actresses in the movie, some of whom went on to extended careers in the film business.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Cissi
Date: 07/17/2001
Summary: 8/10

A gritty, realistic, and entertaining film about gang life in lower-class Hong Kong. This film is a collaboration between a Hong Kong and a Mainland China company, so of course politics would play no part in this.

The film follows the lives of two brothers, Dai Keung and Sai Keung. Dai Keung, the older of the two, is forced into joining a gang, while Sai Keung wants to be just like his older brother and be in his gang. Being in a gang doesn't look so rosy anymore when things start escalating, and their gang is involved in a nasty fight, with one of them killed and the survivors forced into hiding.

The cast of relative unknowns do a great job overall. There are some pretty emotionally searing scenes, esp. when they are all in hiding. I also liked how the movie was written-I really cared about the group and what happened to the main characters. If you can get this film, go watch it :)