review by Neo

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It’s been a while since I actually clapped as the movie ends and the credits roll. The last time was back in 2002, where almost 2 years ago at the conclusion of Infernal Affairs and Hero, as the credit rolls I clapped my heart out. The first time I clapped was back in 1998 when I watched Jet Li’s Fist of Legend and it was that movie that got me watching HK movies and probably without that movie this site may never be in existence. When I clap it means that I love the movie and when I love a movie, the movie does not have to be perfect, but it will just have this feeling that you love it despite its weakness – like overlooking them as well. So why have I blah about clapping, well that’s because it occurred to me last night again, when I watched Love Battlefield. It is without any doubt the most surprising low budget movie of the year and in fact it is a film that I gone in expecting it to be a cheesy low budget B-movie, which turned out to be the best movie of the year so far. Yes, you didn’t get it wrong, you are right, Eason Chan/Niki Chow’s Love Battlefield is the BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR.

When you love a movie this much, the movie will have to have a plot and surprisingly Love Battlefield does. Directed by a virtually unknown director in Soi Cheang, he shocks me to the max and even I couldn’t believe that I actually clapped at the end with this indescribable feel to it. The story is quite well constructed and goes like this: To give their relationship some new excitements, lovers Eason and Niki are planning to spend their holidays together in Japan. However, Eason gives almost all his money to help his friends who are in trouble. Though furious, Niki forgives Eason at last and goes on planning their vacation. Unfortunately, Eason's car is stolen on the day they depart. Niki and Eason are frustrated and have a big quarrel. Niki wants to break up and leaves Eason going to Japan alone. On his way to airport, Eason finds his stolen car and a robber called Wah hiding in the truck. Knowing Eason is a nurse, Wah threatens him to help save his wounded friend while he shoots a patrolling police to death. Scared, Eason brings them to his home and stealthily takes away his walkie-talkie watch which Niki also has one...

Director Soi is a brilliant director that knows how to ‘cheat’ the audience but not in a bad way, but rather a terrific way. His direction should receive some recognition at the annual HK Films Award, but I highly doubt that they will give an award to such a low budget type of movie, as much as I want it to win at least a lower category award. But it does shows that a low budget movie can be a good movie and that HK can produce good thrillers/drama still. Man, I think you can sense my bias in this review already as I really love the movie, well remember that cheesy saying that ‘Love is Blind’, well I think I am in love, well hope my girlfriend won’t get jealous. The performance if not pitch perfect is great, especially Eason Chan who produces his best performance of his career. His expression are great to watch, while not being one of those handsome young singers, not only is he a great singer, he is becoming a prolific singer that can actually act. While Chan can be annoying in some low blow comedy, here, he is pitch perfect for the role and inflicts perfect emotions, and also the power of love and what one can do for love. As to Niki Chow, she indeed produces her best performance, and recently after seeing her in the TVB series – Hard Fate, she does have some good potential acting chops. The supporting cast is perfect and the key mainlander villain does shows some insight into his inner self, despite given a very small role. Raymond Wong makes yet another adequate supporting role, I think this guy is born for supporting role where he performs much better than if he lead as seen in his awful performance in the good movie – Colour of Truth.

Okay, let’s get to the point, Love Battlefield is a hell of a good movie and indeed one of the biggest surprise of the year. I know that it must have some plot holes, but when you love the movie like I did, I tend to overlook these minor errors. Love Battlefield is a movie that has great emotional depth, terrific direction, good acting turns, unpredictable thriller and a terrific ending to finish off with. A 10/10 film to me does not have to be a perfect film, but a film that I love truly and Love Battlefield is one of the few I love. If I have to compare it with the other 10/10 contender – A Nite in MongKok (2004), I must say Love Battlefield is the one winning my heart! On a final note, Love Battlefield is the BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR so far and what more (you know what’s coming as I repeat it the 100th time!) I just Love it!

I rate it 10/10

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Product Title : Love Battlefield
Artist Name(s) : Eason Chan| Niki Chow| Raymond Wong| |
Language : Cantonese | Mandarin |
Duration : 95 minutes
Reviewed by Neo (Andrew) - June 2004