review by Neo

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Just by looking at the cover of the DVD and the cheesy advertising lines of this movie as being the 'new' Young and Dangerous, I was quickly jumping to think and not even thinking that this movie is gonna be another dud - straight to video crap like the Shaolin Soccer 'spin-off' - Silly Kung Fu Family but as surprises can happen.... like Love Battlefield this movie was definitely a surprise. Wait.... don't get excited just yet alright? This movie is no Love Battlefield who jumped from a cheesy low budget look into a classic well not quite but still the best movie of the year. And without any doubt this B-movie - Cop Unbowed which may or may not be release in the cinemas is no Love Battlefield, but it is a surprise as I was impressed by the director actually attempting to try to shoot the movie at least in a slightly more artistic angle and manage to keep the audience watching not till the end but do have this sense of not knowing what happening next feel to it. Well, that's what I call a director with good potential and even with this very average script, he did pretty well. However the end result still can not rise it a level from being a B-movie, but it is without doubt one of the best B-movie of the year. Yes, don't get me wrong it is not a good movie but just that it is probably the best B-movie of this year.

Hey, don't get me wrong, this movie is very much a low budget one and I can even see that it is but what I praise is that the director effort to make the most of the low budget and also out of the quite thin script to create not a bad suspense/ mystery/ thriller type of movie. Even the opening scene with the rain is very much artistically directed and probably the only problem with this scene and other movies and the main reason is it is still a B-movie is cos the actors it involve are either TVB stars or newcomers. If this movie star someone like Andy Lau, the movie will have a much different feel to it. Alex Fong who has being on screen quite a lot recently is trying very hard to shed off his TVB image, but if you ask me I still that the feeling of him being a TVB star is still very much installed in my mind. So try harder Alex. The plot is simple, but director attempts to make it more complicated is a good sign, and just by doing that this director is trying hard and it really shows.

When there are scenes that shoot the actors at an artistic angle, slow motion at the right time, cool rain sequence fight and night shadows to portray emotions, I can tell the director is trying. Having an interests in directing and producing short videos myself, I can tell when a director is trying and not just doing it conventionally and here it is clear that the director is trying his best in this low-budget flick. As to the acting department, Alex Fong is wooden and no matter how hard he try he stills looks like the fireman in the TVB series, Yoyo Ming is cute as always and deserves a better role than this, Ah Yu looks like Sammi but nothing else, some cheesy acting from the other younger newcomers, a controlled performance by veteran white hair guy but forgot his name (so tell me in the forum okay?). But of all the performance, the up and coming once again, Chin Kar Lok gives a great memorable performance here, while it is no where near award winning, it is one of the best B-movie performance of the year. On yea, and Lam Suet also star in this movie as Lee Cop. His usual self.

Overall, Cop Unbowed, is directed by Wai Tat, who is without doubt a director who is trying to reach greater heights and one that I can see as being in the mainstream if he continues to direct in this style within a few years time. He uses the show not tell principle well at time and shot the camera with an artistic flair at times and plus a very well done opening scene to pace it all of. No, this is not a very good movie, but it is not a bad one either and in fact probably better than movies like Herbal Tea, Wong Jing's Love is a Many Stupid Thing. As far as B-movie are concern, it is very well produced from a low budget and making it one of the best B-movie of the year!

I rate it 7/10

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Product Title : Osaka Wrestling Restaurant
Artist Name(s) : Timmy Hung Tin-Ming| Miku Ueno| Law Kar-Ying| Wayne Lai Yiu-Cheung| Gloria Yip| Sam Lee Chan-Sam, Carlo Ng Ka-Lok, Sammo Hung Kam-Bo
Language : Mandarin|Cantonese
Duration : 85 minutes
Reviewed by Neo (Andrew) - July 2004

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