Full Contact (1992)
Reviewed by: dragyn on 2001-03-31
Summary: Ballistic Male Machismo
Bullet-cam; scantily-clad exotic dancers; lots of big guns; lots of big motorbikes; ultraviolence; homophobic elements; sex-starved nymphomanics; Chow Yun-Fat wearing leather and biceps..."Full Contact" sweats male machismo.

If you can handle the male machismo (and it's not too hard really; just switch off your brain), then this is one heck of a movie. Chow Yun-Fat looks and acts like some uber-butch urban God, never far from a big gun/bike/sneer/delete as applicable; a far cry from the sensitive characters he is famous for playing. Simon Yam camps it up big-time as a homosexual bad guy with a crush on Chow, in a role that would surely have had lesbian and gay activists raising hell had the movie been released in America.

And "Full Contact" is a movie in which the action really does never stop. And what action! Big guns, big knives, big bangs, and big brawls - all with ultra-cool Chow Yun-Fat somewhere at the centre of it, kicking ass with style. There is one truly memorable car-chase, as well - and I normally fall asleep during car-chases.

The plot is a leaf taken straight out of John Woo's book, but here it is injected with enough icy-cool to freeze the Sahara; it becomes Ringo Lam's baby, completely and utterly. Lam's directing here is very disitinctive, but also very different from anything he has doen before. While still remaing very different from it, Lam's directing here is more akin to the stylistic work of John Woo than the gritty, super-realist work he has doen before in films such as "City on Fire" and "Prison on Fire".

To my mind, "Full Contact" is virtually unflawed; definitely Lam's and Chow's best collaboration. I give it a solid 8/10.