Chow Yun-Fat is Godfrey (not “Jeff” as the case has him, though “Godfrey” is, to NorthAmerican ears, an odd name for an action hero), tough-as-nails leader of a group of friends inThailand. Godfrey’s weak cousin gets them involved in a heist masterminded by the Judge(Simon Yam), who leads a gang as flamboyant as they are nuts. Godfrey is betrayed and left fordead, but comes back a year later for revenge. Directed by Ringo Lam, Full Contact doesn’tachieve the heights of John Woo’s b…st work, lacking the impossible-to-top action blow-out ofHard-Boiled or the utter delirium of Bullet in the Head. There are, however, plenty of nifty set-pieces, especially towards the end.
While experiencing Full Contact on DVD is definitely a step up from VHS, no remasteringof the sound has occurred, so we’re stuck with the mono. The mono is certainly serviceable, iscrisp and clean and distortion-free, but I can’t help but think how much more exciting thegunshots, explosions and pounding music would have been in stereo. As well, even whenwatching the film in the original Cantonese, you’ll have to get used to obvious post-synchdialogue.
The picture is good, but the print is still in no better shape than what you would haveexperienced renting the laser disc back in ‘92. There is the odd speckle, a couple of splices, andthe picutre jumps a couple of times. As well, the colours are rather drab (a product, I suspect, ofthe original film). The contrasts are okay, but not perfect in some of the night scenes, wherethings get a bit misty. A decent job, but unspectacular. The picture comes in both fullscreen and1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen.
A few trailers is all you’ve got here: Lockdown, Once a Thief/Full Contact, and So Close.The menu is basic.
A no-frills DVD, but this is still a step up from what was available in the past, and the film iswell worth seeing, not only on its own merits, but to see where just how heavily the Hong Kongfilm of ten years ago has influenced the American action film of today.
Special Features List