review by Seraph
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I call a very COOL movie!
Ekin Cheng. Leon Lai. Karena Lam. A Benny Chan film. What can possibly go wrong? Well, aside from a few pacing problems, this is actually a great little movie. Ekin plays a good cop 'Kin', who has to enlist the help of Leon Lai's hypnotist 'Ching.' One of Kin's officers has stolen money from the police safe and he believes he did so under hypnotism. But he's about to get a lot more than he bargained for. The story is all about twists and turns so I will not talk about it in depth. (It really would spoil the movie.) So instead i'll give you the synopsis and then focus on the acting.
Kin is a capable elite member of the special G4 force. Before the opening of the International Diamond Expo an honest police officer steals a million dollars from the police safe and destroys the evidence store. Kin believes the officer has been Hypnotised, so he enlists the help of a psychologist who has been convicted of manslaughter. To Kin's surprise, he falls into the trap set up by him.
Ekin Cheng seems to fit this role quite well in my opinion. He plays a good cop, but one who can be pretty hard on his fellow police officers. He's much better here than say, Women From Mars, Twins Effect or any of his recent romantic comedy films. That may be partly because at least this film has some substance. I can however believe him as this character and I think he deserves some credit for not being the old emotionless 'Noodle Cheng' from Yesteryear. He must also be given credit for handling the action very well. Which in this film is of quite a high standard. There's a romantic angle which is played to more in the latter part of the film and it never really feels too sappy or forced. So, well done again Ekin.
Karena Lam plays Ekin's love interest/Fellow cop. Here she is her wonderful self. Never over acting, and always holding your attention. She doesn't have a whole lot to do in the movie, but what she does is very nice indeed. She deserves her place as the undisputed, New queen of the HK box-office.
Leon Lai surprised me the most. I used to quite dislike him. He's never really shown much emotion in his films, and as such I didn't expect much from him. I was proved wrong by his subtle but emotionally charged turn as a man with more on the line than most people can see. Just watch the scenes where he visited his wife to see what I mean.
Last but not least we come to Francis Ng as the villain. This guy is one of the greatest bad guys ever. Although his acting here is less subtle than his role in say, Infernal Affairs 2, he still gives an excellent portrayal as an out and out bad guy. I really hated him by end of the movie and given that Francis Ng is one of my favourite actors he must have done his job right. Once again I cannot fault any of these actors or their roles.
Benny Chan directs the film well. Breaking up the suspense every now and then with a great action scene. Watch for the scene where Ekin is confronted on a ladder high above the streets between two buildings. No special effects were used and Ekin did the stunt himself. It really pays off. It made me feel a little dizzy. The car chases are also handled well as are the few displays of martial arts by Ekin Cheng. Yes, he did well again. WoW. Ekin was really good in this film. The last action scene is done perfectly in all respects. Your heart will be in your mouth waiting to see what the outcome will be as Ekin and Leon go to confront the evil Francis.
So, all in all, a nice little film. Though the pacing does slow down a few too many times this can be forgiven as the film is by turns emotional and exciting. All the actors hit their marks and the director really knows what he's doing. This is probably the best acting Ekin has managed so far so If you are looking for an action/thriller movie with lots of twist and turns you could do a lot worse than Heroic Duo.
I rate it 8/10
Neo Comments: I personally reviewed this movie quite a while ago, around this time last year, but I won't needa post it until there is request for it as Seraph sums it pretty well and really what I would say anyway! While Seraph gave it 8/10, I think I am more generous as I gave it 9/10 last year. Overall I reckon it was a hell of a cool and stylish movie with two stiff actors going head to head. I also proclaimed that Karena and Francis has very similar acting style, but that's my personal opinion! Cheers.
on this movie on HK Neo Reviews Forum
Product Title : Heroic Duo
Artist Name(s) : Leon Lai | Ekin Cheng | Karena Lam | Francis Ng
Language : Cantonese| Mandarin
Duration : 90 minutes
Reviewed by Seraph (Paul) - October 2004