Detectives Cynthia Khan and Donnie Yen are trying to break up a drug ring. The actionbegins in Seattle, where a bust goes wrong and Yen’s partner is killed by a CIA agent. Witness tothis is a dock worker, who becomes a prime suspect in the killing, and flees to Hong Kong. Khanand Yen follow, not yet realizing that they have a traitor in their midst.
I have no idea if the plot actually makes any sense, and frankly, I don’t care. It serves itspurpose, which is …o get us from one spectacular martial arts sequence to another. These battlesare not shot in the choppy style currently in vogue that, while very exciting when done well,serves to conceal the fact that the actors are not, after all trained, fighters. No such cheatingnecessary here. The fights are films in full shots, with every jaw-dropping move clearly visible.The stunts are just as insane, with Khan in particular fighting while dangling down an elevatorshaft or off a speeding ambulance. This last scene is, in its own way, more exciting than thesimilar (if much more expensive) truck-top battle in The Matrix Reloaded because of theobvious and alarming risks the actors are taking. And to top everything off, the mystery isresolved in an interestingly cynical fashion.
Impressive technical specs on the sound, but largely wasted on this film, whose origins seemto me to have been mono. English and Cantonese language tracks are in both 5.1 and DTS. TheEnglish dubbing is not too bad (relatively speaking), and none of the tracks provide a completelyimmersive experience. All you get by way of surround effects are background sounds (essentiallythe white noise of a large city). Music, combat, everything else is front-only.
The film is fourteen years old, and some age is showing. There are a few grainy shots, and the picturejiggles a little bit now and then. The layer transition is very clumsy. The colours are decent, andthe blacks and flesh tones are very good. The reds are extremely bright. Not an exceptionaltransfer, but the source material isn’t Moulin Rouge to begin with.
Nothing much here. The original and new trailers for the feature are present, plus trailers forother Hong Kong releases: City Hunter, Heart of Dragon, Hong Kong1941, Magnificent Warriors, Magnificent Butcher and Naked Killer.The menu’s main page is animated and scored, and the secondary pages are scored.
Enormous fun, directed by the fight choreographer of The Matrix and CrouchingTiger, Hidden Dragon. A basic disc, but who cares with such great fight scenes.
Special Features List
- Theatrical Trailers