The last Young and Dangerous movie arrives at last.
Mr. Chiang (Alex Man) steps down and Ho-Nam (Ekin Cheng) is
promoted to the head of the Hung Hing group. Meanwhile, Chicken
(Jordan Chan) is nominated to take over the San Luen Group
in Taiwan, but thereís infighting as everyone is after the
big chair, except the former leaderís son (Peter Ho), who
seemingly wants little to do with the whole triad business.
Amidst all this, Chicken gets a marriage
of convenience to Nanako (Anya), the daughter of Yamada (Sonny
Chiba), the powerful head of Japanís Yamada Clan. This consolidation
of power is at the center of the whole shebang, as Chickenís
ascendance to the head of the San Luen Group would put the
Yamadas (and even the Hung Hings) in striking distance of
Taiwan. Then bad stuff happens, Chicken is suspected of many
acts of treachery, and Ho-Nam arrives in Taiwan to act righteous
and glower at everyone in sight.
Yep, itís the Young and Dangerous gang acting even more badass than ever, only now theyíre much
older and without the trappings of HK street crime. They wear
suits, cavort in Tokyo and Taipei, and make multi-national
political agendas their business. Somehow, the street kidz
of Causeway Bay have ended up as the Corleones of Asia, only
without the American Dream metaphor. Also, there isnít much
darkness permeating these movies.
As this is the final film, it would
have been great to really shake things up, but usual suspects
Manfred Wong and Andrew Lau refuse to tinker too much with
the formula. Having Gigi Lai return (as a doppelganger for
Smartie) is a nice touch, but itís as far as the series will
go to really bring everything full circle. Speaking frankly,
having Chan Ho-Nam die for righteousness would be a marvelous
touch, but we have to be content with the most intelligent
but overstuffed entry in the series and the familiar presence
of the whole gang. Wong and Lau have managed to bring back
original cast members Michael Tse and Jason Chu (both as bad
guys), and even Roy Cheung, who has the indignity of being
the only cast member to die three times during the course
of the series.
Ultimately, the film doesn't accomplish
much more than the others did, though it is by far the most
plot heavy of the bunch. We should give the Young and Dangerous movies credit because theyíve accomplished the following:
propel Ekin Cheng and Jordan Chan to stardom, create a track
record that got Storm Riders made, reinvigorate the
career of Sandra Ng, and provide Francis Ng with the means
for his position as one of Hong Kongís best actors. Despite
the eventual mediocrity of the series, I thought it was an
entertaining, and sometimes even compelling pop-culture exercise.