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City War
|     review by Kozo    |     review by Magicvoice     |
Year: 1988
Director: Sun Chung
Action: Yuen Bun
Cast: Chow Yun-Fat, Ti Lung, Tien Niu, Robin Shou Wan-Bo, Norman Chu Shiao-Chiang (Tsui Siu-Keung), Lee Ka-Ting, Lo Lieh, Teresa Carpio, Michael Chow Man-Kin
The Skinny: This Better Tomorrow reunion movie is just plain awful.
by Kozo:
     This Lethal Weapon wannabe is the most poorly directed Chow Yun-Fat vehicle since Triads: the Inside Story. Chow is Dick and Ti Lung is Ken, two HK cops who find themselves up against escaped con Tsui Siu-Keung. Sadly, the ninety minutes that precede the violent (but messy) climax is uneven, poorly acted, and badly paced. Chow’s love interest (Tien Niu) is uninteresting and unattractive thanks to her shrill acting and lousy character. City War may be ultimate proof that watching people play finger guessing games is just not fun. Chow Yut-Fat is his usual self, but he has a bad script which he cannot rise above. Ti Lung's performance is intense to a fault. This is a bad movie. (Kozo 1997)
Alternate Review

     City War is basically a poor man's Lethal Weapon with a few added role reversals to throw the audience off. Ti Lung plays the hot-tempered cop Ken, who instead of being a suicidal loner has a loving family. Chow Yun-Fat plays Ken's partner Dick. Dick is the single nice guy cop who is looking for love in all the wrong places. When psycho ex-convict Ted (Tsui Siu-Keung) shows up and harasses Ken for putting him away for ten years, it's Ken's family that suffers the consequences.
In response, Dick helps Ken hunt down and take revenge on Ted outside the confines of the law. When Dick gets involved with Ted's main squeeze, lounge singer Penny (Tien Niu), it looks like things may get complicated. But, they never do because the writing in this movie has absolutely no thought put into it whatsoever. This is simply a formulaic vehicle that reunites the stars of A Better Tomorrow. The action in City War is drab and lifeless, the only redeeming quality being the affable charm and acting ability of the two leads. Chow and Ti could play potatoes growing in a field and it would be watchable. Beyond that, City War is not really worth the time. (Magicvoice 2002)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Joy Sales
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese Language Track
Dolby Digital 2.0
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
image courtesy of Universe Laser & Video Co., Ltd Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen