Police Sergeant Tong Fei, who rules his own subordinates with an iron hand, is to blame for the death of a child. In a reckless attempt to make up for his failure, he single-handedly takes up the fight with a ruthless kidnapper, thereby risking even greater disaster. The eternally undecided struggle between good and evil has always been the theme of thrillers made in Hong Kong, and cops and criminals have often been each other’s mirror images in these films. But rarely have we seen a cop-gone-wrong fight for vindication with such grim fury as does Nicholas Tse in the role of the unfortunate policeman, and rarely have we felt such empathy with a brutal killer as we do with the desperate kidnapper played by Nick Cheung. Director Dante Lam, who was a previous guest of the Forum with The Triad Zone, succeeds in dividing our sympathies in a highly ambivalent way. The virtuoso complexity of the narrative structure gradually reveals, by way of a series of flashbacks to a tragic car accident, the intricate entanglement of the fates of the triads, police officers, public prosecutor, and contract killer. This film is a classic of its genre.
by Dante Lam
with Nicholas Tse, Nick Cheung, Zhang Jingchu
Hong Kong, China 2008