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Chinese Midnight Express 2 (1999)

  Directed by: Kant Leung
Starring: Francis Ng
Genre: Drama

This movie gets: 7.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

Chinese Midnight Express 2 (1999) is also mentioned in timchuma's review of Prison on Fire (1987).

"More realistic than Prison on Fire" - a review by timchuma

Hong Kong prison movies seem to be fairly common nowdays after the success of the Prison on Fire (1987) series, but this movie is different to those action-based dramas in that it has a more realistic feel to it. It also seems to have more credibility since it is introduced as a historical account of an incident that occurred in the jail in 1968 (although I don't know anything about the history of HK so I can't prove this).

'The Barrister' has had the bad luck of assaulting a police officer in a fight who just happened to be best mates with the top warden (Piranha and Mr John) and is sent inside for 9 months.

On the ride in he is consoled by one of his clients, Reddie, who says it was 'his fault' for defending himself against the police when he was punched by a cop for trying to stop them hitting his client.

Once inside, Piranha makes it immediately clear that he doesn't want The Barrister to cause trouble - then he takes him to his office and beats the crap out of him.

Something this film gets right are the conditions inside the jail, compared to Prison on Fire, which glamorised prison life, this makes it seem like it could actually have been like that. As soon as The Barrister walks into the 'Recreation Room' he sees a man smoking crack, men with bitches, crooked wardens, and Keith, who is doing another bloke up the arse (sorry, there's no other way to say it).

The Barrister doesn't want to cause any more trouble, so he insists the prisoners call him Brother Hong. He also finds out that the prisoners regard him as an idol because he defended most of them and pleaded for reduced sentences and he soon makes friends with two of the 'top men': Brother Kei and Jelly Fish.

Settling down into prison life, he has the usual dramas, but is befriended by a rookie prison guard who has the same attitudes as him to violence and he allows him to date his younger sister on the outside. Little does Brother Hong know that Mr John has already taken an interest in both his sisters...

I liked this movie the most out of the two I saw, it has the right mix of action and drama, as well as having very good performances out of most of the cast - especially Fairy, whose only line is "An Observation: Torn trousers can be mended.". The warden is suitably wicked and prisoners (although they are criminals) come out looking better than the law in many cases, much to the displeasure of the Government and the Police.

I would recommend this movie to people who like action movies as well as prison movies and even if you haven't seen Prison on Fire, this is a good movie to watch if you are into Hong Kong movies.

timchuma gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 9 Nov 2004

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