Friday, November 30, 2007

Exiled (Fong juk) DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: DVD Has Hit Men Chasing Mobster in High-Octane Chopsocky

It is Macao in 1998, just before the former Portuguese colony was about to be transferred back to Chinese rule. When a gangster named Wo (Nick Cheung) tries to turn over a new leaf by settling down with his wife (Josie Ho) and newborn, the boss (Simon Yam) of his crime family dispatches a couple of hit men (Suet Lam and Anthony Wong) from Hong Kong to execute the renegade mobster.
Meanwhile, a couple of Wo’s equally-jaded colleagues (Francis Ng and Roy Cheung) learn of their pal’s predicament and opt to come to the rescue. Subsequently, the tension builds during a deliberately very pregnant pause as the adversaries anticipate a big showdown while waiting in an ominous atmosphere thick enough to carve with a ginsu knife.
This is the gripping point of departure of Exiled, a cliché ridden chopsocky directed by Johnnie To. If you are familiar with Breaking News, his high-octane adventure from 2004, then you already have a good idea of what to expect here from the Hong Kong action-oriented veteran.
Once you’ve got To’s plot figured out, all that’s left for you to do is sit back and relish the ballet-like bloodsport unabashedly served up by this flick’s stylized fight sequences, reminiscent of the eye-pleasing, if gratuitous, gore of such over-stimulation mavens as John Woo and Sam Peckinpah. Taut testosterone-sodden titillation, if graphic gunplay’s your pleasure.

Excellent (3.5 stars)
Rated R for sexuality and graphic violence.
In Cantonese with subtitles.
Running time: 109 minutes
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment

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