Hot War (1998)
Reviewed by: tcooc on 2001-02-23
Ekin Cheng and Jordan Chan. How many movies are there where these two men star together? I wonder If they are getting sick of it, So I wonder what is next for this couple. At least it is right to say that this team of actors work very well together. They have the 'chemistry' usually reserved for an actress and an actor, but it never ever comes across gay or anything.

So here is one of their earlier offerings, 'Hot War,' definately the wrong title for this film, this is another classic Hong Kong to English title translation. In this film there are no Hot Wars, the actual movie deals with the illegal use of 'subliminals' to cause riots at the World Cup Soccor games. 'Subliminals' are actually a new type of weapon developed by Tango One (Ekin Cheng) CS Koo (Jordan Chan) and Blue (Kelly Chen) which use ULF or Ultra Low Frequency messages or images to affect people's brains and get them to do wierd stuff, the sight of a group of Indians vomitting everywhere is gross! But like all action films, the 'subliminals' are wanted by criminals, notedly by one mean ass guy called Alien, to sabotage the Soccor World Cup. Apart from that the story line is quite thin and uninspiring, but there is a neat segment which involves VR Training, a Matrix like training {No sorry the Matrix COPYED is!!!} system which turns a normal human into a formidable fighting machine. Tango and CS undergo this training in a bid to rescue Blue when she is kidnapped by Alien to help him develop the 'subliminals,' unfortunately CS Koo cracks after the training and becomes one of the rare 'violence prone' subjects which can't control their powerful fits of rage. Things go awry after this, they successfully rescue Blue, but when higher authorities arrest them in the airport (Because they are VR Fighters and maybe dangerous) CS Koo snaps full time, and kills Blue in a fit of red rage. Things are Pear shaped from now on.

Jingle Ma, the director, has crafted a very stylish action movie, in some instances you could even say that it is kind of like an understandable Wong Kar Wei movie. There are uses of black and white stock, coloured stock mixed with alternate angles, fast motion and slow motion. All this results in an eye pleasing effort. Action does come thick and fast, although it is category IIA action, it isn't all that bloody, but there is implied violence, so it does come across quite 'ouchies.' (As in, Oh thats gotta hurt.) There is one kick ass gunfight between Jordan Chan and the bad guy Alien in the broadcasting facility, which resembles something John Woo would create. Good stuff.

Okay, now here I go again defending Ekin Cheng. I reckon that he is very good in this film. He is very emotional in this movies, and in his a crying scene, you really feel for his character. Once again, like always, Jordan Chan puts in a great effort. He acts great and looks pretty cool with a gun. Newcomer Kelly Chan {not really new more, but at that time} does well with her limited screen time.

All in all Hot War is a great film. It has some crap looking FX, especially in the air floaty whatsit scene. But otherwise Centro have made some kewl computer screen stuff. Another good aspect about this film is the emotion portrayed in certain scenes. I rate this in my top ten crying films where the ending brings me to tears. And I tell you, if you don't get the slightest bit emotional in the final rooftop scene, there is something wrong with you.