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鎗王 (2000)
Double Tap

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/25/2003

Even though this film didn't really generate a lot of buzz, it's one of the better movies to come out of Hong Kong over the past few years. Leslie Cheung plays Rick, a master marksman and gunsmith who is pushed over the edge after he kills a man who begins opening fire at a sharpshooting competition. As Rick begins a rampage, it's up to a top cop (Alex Fong) to bring him down.

Double Tap is a good movie all around, bolstered by strong performances from the two leads. Alex Fong breaks from his usual role as a villain and makes a fine turn as the determined cop, and Leslie Cheung is dead on as the deranged (yet still likeable) killer. It's a breakout kind of role that sadly most people won't bother to see because this is classified as an action movie.

Speaking of action, Double Tap definetly delivers the goods. There is enough camera trickery (some actual decent-looking CGI) to keep things interesting, but not so much as to overwhelm the viewer, as is sadly the case with way too many movies lately. It was good to see a film that didn't think it was a 90-minute music video in this day and age of MTV-wannabes.

Overall, Double Tap is worth checking out if you're into the "golden age" of HK movies from the late 1980's and early 1990's. It has a good story, solid performances and a nice helping of gunfights. It's worth checking out even if you have been put off by recent half-ass attempts of action movies from Hong Kong.

Reviewed by: balstino
Date: 09/05/2003
Summary: Highly engaging, a cracking little flick.

Hard Boiled it ain't but it still is a BLINDING film. Quality direction, top notch action, acting was superb, accompanied by a well thought out plot. It had the raw energy of the old HK action films, but with a real dark edge. Whilst not without it's flaws you still gotta love Double Tap!

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 04/16/2002
Summary: Average

The plot of this story is actually quite interesting, but unfortunatly the end product is a mess. The story does get confusing at times, but it's still enjoyable enough to put up with.

Rating: 2.5/5

Reviewed by: gwailo
Date: 06/02/2001
Summary: BANGBANG...

Atmosphere plays heavily in this creepy psychological/horror/gun flick. Sure the characters aren't well defined but they rarely are in HK cinema. The mood of the film, which plays very downbeat, adds to the anguish of Leslie Cheung's character. His portrayl of a mentally disturbed 'gun-king' is very intense. Scenes of his attempts at suicide singe your memory and are still there days later. Double Tap's Leslie Cheung rivals Lau Ching-Wan's slightly touched character in Ringo Lam's 'The Victim". Another psychological character study that switches off the brain of it's lead and a film with an equally unsettling atmosphere. Double Tap, warts and all, is definately worth a look, and to it's detractors, try it again.

Reviewed by: Rab99bit
Date: 05/22/2001
Summary: Double disappointment

This is a movie about a supposedly crazed cop-killer (Leslie Cheung)pursued by a conscience-stricken cop (Alex Fong). Both are sharp-shooters and have taken part in an unfinished shooting competition, with no clear-cut winner.
If you are interested in guns and shooting ranges, this is the movie for you. Otherwise, Leslie Cheung's portrayal of the crazed cop-killer is unconvincing and wooden. Worse is the portrayal of the killer's girlfriend as a staunch & loyal supporter till the very end - is she nuts?
I find Alex Fong's portrayal of his character acceptable, given that there is little opportunity to introduce his character to the audience.
The second disappointment is the depressing blue-gray lighting and the excessive use of shadows, making it difficult to make out facial expressions apart from Leslie Cheung's "masked facies" (emotionless - like a mask).

Reviewed by: stam
Date: 05/01/2001
Summary: BAD

Thank goodness I watched this for free!

I can't say anything redeeming about the action or the suspense in this film, it's all quite bad.

In terms of the fight sequence, they are all quite brutal, and the final confrontation in a mall is done quite poorly, with no regards to the environment around them.

And the psychotic behaviour of Rick is presented in such a fashion that we don't feel sympathy for him, but we just hate him as the bad guy.

Don't waste your time.

Reviewed by: Paul Fonoroff
Date: 11/23/2000

Gun fanatics will have a field day with Double Tap (whose Chinese title literally translates as “Gun King”). Producer/writer Derek Yee Tung-shing and director/writer Law Chi-leung have packed more rods and ammo into ninety minutes than the average Cantonese shoot-’em-up—and that’s no small feat.

As is usual in a Yee production, there is an attempt to go below the surface. But unlike his motorcycle picture Full Throttle (1995), which did not require an interest in bikes to sustain the attention of non-enthusiasts, Double Tap will try the patience of those to whom a day at the shooting range would be sleep-inducing were it not for the noise. Fortunately, the movie also has some exciting, keenly edited action scenes that leave the viewer rooting for more.

The script, credited to no less than five authors, traces the macho camaraderie between police inspector Miu (Alex Fong Chung-sun) and champion shooter/instructor Rick (Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing). Approximately a third of the way into the proceedings, Rick acquires a taste for blood and becomes an assassin. Therein follows a cat-and-mouse game as the cops attempt to apprehend the killer, both physically and psychologically. A key player is Rick’s girlfriend, Colleen (Wong Cheuk-ling), a lady whose love for her man and his guns blinds her to his mental illness.

Colleen is potentially as fascinating a character as the male leads. But due to the picture’s high testosterone level, she isn’t much developed beyond the level of “stand by your man”. Unlike Yee’s masterpiece, C’est La Vie, Mon Cheri, and other Yee produced and/or directed films, there is little to involve the audience and pluck at our collective heartstrings. As a result, even when Miu’s close friends and colleagues are shot down and the macho inspector cries manly tears, the viewer is left dry-eyed.

Double Tap is touted as the first time mega-idol Leslie Cheung has essayed a villainous role. Perhaps because of his idol status, and the accompanying smirks, stares, and other idol-like affectations with which he interprets the part, it is virtually impossible to forget for a moment that Rick is none other than Leslie pretending to be a killer. Rick goes through the motions, but one doubts he really knows how to shoot.

At the beginning, Rick explains that the term “Double Tap” refers to a particularly difficult feat of marksmanship. Rick may be able to perform such a tour de force, but the film itself falls far short of striking a bull’s eye.

2.5 Stars

This review is copyright (c) 2000 by Paul Fonoroff. All rights reserved. No part of the review may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: MilesC
Date: 11/19/2000
Summary: Engaging, but ultimately empty.

Double Tap shows a lot of potential early on, promising to combine slick action scenes with an exploration of the nature of killing. Unfortunately, as in last year's wannabe-deep action movie Purple Storm, scenes of inexplicable psychotic outbursts are substituted for any true psychological depth. These scenes waste time and slow the pace down, and are somewhat clunky and even embarrassing in their own right. What's left is a slick, reasonably fast-paced thriller, with plenty of blood providing cheap thrills. If you like police procedurals and have any interest in guns, (heavily fetishized here) you'll find Double Tap fairly engaging, even if the slick but brief and underwhelming finale (not to mention the pathetic "that's it?" final scene) couldn't possibly leave anyone very satisfied. The action scenes, though few, are cool and vaguely surreal. Anyone hoping for something heavier because of Derek Yee's producer credit, however, will be disappointed. All in all, certainly worth seeing, but not with high expectations.

Reviewed by: magic-8
Date: 10/07/2000
Summary: Solid Shoot-em Up

Borrowing heavily from gun-fu flicks and themes associated with westerns, Derek Yee ( producer) and Law Chi Leung (director) give us "Double Tap." Leslie Cheung (gunsmith and marksman) and Alex Fong (cop) play rival sharpshooters, trying to discover who is the best shot with a handgun. We get the full range of gun worship with restraint. There aren't too many glorified close-ups of spent shells and muzzle flashes during shoot-outs and gun competitions. Instead Law Chi Leung uses plenty of varying camera speeds and the editing of frames to heighten the impact. In this gunplay world, you need to reload. The only bog down is during the introduction of some psychological mumbo-jumbo to explain why Leslie's character is mentally pained.

The film combines action with the traditional police drama as Leslie is caught up in a police investigation headed up by Alex. This leads to the ultimate showdown between the two. The acting is fairly solid throughout, but not exceptional. The supporting characters are fleshed out enough to keep them interesting. While Leslie has done better work, he still manages to put in a good performance. Alex on the other hand wasn't just wooden, he was balsa. There are enough twists and turns to keep the pace from dragging, so that by the time the big finale arrives, the audience is still captivated enough to enjoy it.

The climax is outstanding, an homage, of sorts, to Ringo Lam's "Full Contact." Yee and Law have made a solid film with strong production values in "Double Tap." Whatever the movie lacks in terms of full character development it compensates with enthusiastic action set pieces, thoughtful camera work and editing.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 08/19/2000
Summary: Pretty good

I didn't know what to expect when i watch this. I was quite suprised.

I would tell you the plot, but that would give away the suprise of the film. This movie is actually quite suspenseful. It has all the qualities of a high budget movie.

All the acting is good. I am NOT a big fan of Alex Fong (since the movies where he stars in it are usual crap, from what i have seen)but he does well in this film, and the film is actually good to watch!!

The action is a bit slow to start of with and the ending I EXPECTED (which was mass killings) did not occur which i was disappointed about (especially when you see one of the main action scenes. We don't really get to see HOW good Alex Fong is,except that at the contest, he is equal to Leslie Cheung. If Alex Fong's character actually killed some bad guys for example and showed off his skills, the ending would be more dramatic.

But this minor things aside, i give this: