review by Neo

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A Competent low budget movie...
While most HK movies are low budget anyway, somehow Herman Yau can go even lower and is able to produce a competent thriller (or should I say Cat 3) movie. While Yau is well-known for having twists in his movies, this one actually works despite having one twist right after another and it saying that Neo leaves the movie with a quite satisfying feeling. Don't get me wrong this is by no means a happy ever after type of movie, but one that challenges typical convention, by raising the question of - reality vs appearance, which is a common theme in most Yau's movies, including the recently postmodern film - Astonishing. While that film is extremely uneven and comment on the somewhat existential philosophy, Yau 9 years ago, directed this flick in a daring manner, showing that even a CAT 3 movie with some graphical sex scenes, can turn out into a competent thriller.

The story starts of in an heart stopping manner, with a clothes-less girl leaping of a building and then it goes on and on about this adultery and that. Then put kidnapping in the mix, revenge, and people are not really who you think they are. The villains turns out to be good and the good guys turn out to be the best and this person protect this and that and that. Yeah, you get the drift, but this somehow turns out surprisingly competent and the twists proves to be more effective than deliberate.

As to the acting department, Dayo Wong and Irene Wan shines in their respective roles, while Simon Yam is wooden and comparing to his performances recently in PTU, this is just a load of inexperience acting. Dayo Wong is one actor that should have been a star almost 10 years ago, but somehow has only gain much popularity nowadays with his recent role in the successful TVB series - To Catch the Uncatchable, of which a series that Neo highly recommends for those who haven't actually watch it, as it is without doubt the BEST TVB series of 2004, as it is both witty and humorous in a way that the audience won't get annoyed. If you liked Dayo Wong performance there, you will like Dayo here, as he performs a carbon copy role and even dress alike, one wonders if Dayo was famous then, what good movies he may be starring in now! As for Irene Wan, performs with some emotions and some good expressions that goes beyond being just HOT and showing skin.

Neo rarely digs out low-budget 1996 movies, but this one he didn't dig it out either as he was never much of a Cat 3 movie fan. However, that perception may have changed slightly due to his recent liking of Shu Qi's Sex and Zen 2, showing that a Cat 3 movie can indeed be a classic and can stand through time. While Herman Yau's efforts is by no means classic, this low budget Cat 3 flick is not only entertaining, but also proves to be a pretty well-conceived competent thriller. As far as a Cat 3 flick is concern, that's a hell of a pretty good movie.

I rate it 8/10

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Artist Name(s) : Irene Wan, Simon Yam, Dayo Wong
Directed by: Herman Yau
Reviewed by Andrew (Neo), March 2005