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War of the Underworld (Hong xing zi zhi jiang hu da feng bao) (1996)

  Directed by: Herman Yau
Written by: Wong Jing
Starring: Jordan Chan, Tony Leung Chiu Wai
Links: War of the Underworld on the IMDb, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Action

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

"The poster is better than the movie!" - a review by timchuma

Shun is an inept triad member who can't help getting into trouble with rival gangs, even going to the movies is a trial and he ends up having to be rescued by the estranged son of his gang's boss Hung Fei.

Tung, Shun's sister, puts up with his gang activities as she knows he is too timid to get into real trouble, but once she hears about Hung Fei she starts to get interested as she is a reporter for a popular magazine.

They both go to an illegal street race to try and track down Hung Fei and Tung ends up going along for the ride with a sabotage attempt en route by baseball bat wielding bikers. During the race, Hung Fei tells Tung to scream as she will hurt herself holding it in and they just manage to win due to some short-cuts on the way back.

At the retirement celebration for the gang's boss, a rival gang stirs up trouble and so does Hung Fei, but what really stirs things up is the 'gift' the boss gets from the rival gang, which causes him to have a stroke.

The rest of the gang goes into hiding while the rival gang tries to take over their territory. Shun is given the job of guarding the boss at the hospital, but they have to make a quick exit when the gang turns up looking for them (not before Shun acquires a rather painful injury from a boiling kettle).

Towards the end of the movie, the violence escalates with several characters being killed, almost killed, or forced to act like dogs. Probably the best of these scenes is the one where what looks like a couple of hundred people face off against each other on the street.

This film is one of the better reworkings of the triad genre made popular by Young and Dangerous, Part I (1996) (it even acknowledges this by having the characters fighting over tickets to see the film). The early parts of the movie have some funny moments, but it soon changes to a more dramatic mood as you would expect from this genre. People who don't like the way Triad society is romanticised would be well advised to avoid this movie as there are some questionable decisions made by the main characters.

As a special bonus, for viewing this film at a 'Classic Cinema' screening I won the lucky door prize, which is the poster for this film. I must say it is an excellent poster partly due to of its size (1940mm * 960mm), which is as big as two normal movie posters lengthwise. What I also like about it is that it has all the main characters featured on it (15 in all) as well as 1/4 views of the two main characters at each end with them holding newspaper wrapped machetes. Nice use of colour too.

timchuma gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Wed 23 Feb 2005

Movie review statistics

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Reader comments

  1. yet another shyt review from tim

    A comment from fazz on Fri 25 Feb 2005 19:30 #

  2. hehehe no one likes this guy

    A comment from haha on Fri 25 Feb 2005 21:44 #

  3. loose this reviewer

    A comment from a plee to pearly on Sun 27 Feb 2005 13:51 #

  4. I am currently going over all NINETY SIX Hong Kong movie reviews and expanding them (pretty hard since I saw some of them five years ago.) Patience!

    A comment from nofreelist's own timchuma on Sun 27 Feb 2005 14:51 #

  5. OOOHHH NOOOO please dont expand them they are already soo sh*T i couldnt bare extended versions

    A comment from Doff on Tue 01 Mar 2005 16:56 #


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