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Final Justice
Year: 1997
Eric Tsang and Carman Lee
Director: Derek Chiu Sung-Kei
Producer: Johnnie To Kei-Fung

Lau Ching-Wan, Eric Tsang Chi-Wai, Carman Lee Yeuk-Tung, Almen Wong Pui-Ha, Tse Kwan-Ho

The Skinny: Director Derek Chiu has a hammer and he uses it! You'll get the point of this effective though heavy-handed drama.
by Kozo:
     The first film from those guys at Milky Way productions shows the same uncompromising edge that marks their later, more effective works. Lau Ching-Wan is a devout Catholic priest who succumbs to temptation in the form of a promiscuous, emotionally damaged woman named Donna (Almen Wong). After one night together, he spurns her citing the impossibility of their relationship. Would that he could sweep the situation under the rug - she slaps him with a lawsuit claiming that he raped her, and the fireworks begin. 
     What follows is an ethical and moral struggle between keeping oneís vows and finding justice, and how the two concepts sometimes are incompatible. Making things more difficult is the presence of Eric Tsang as an old childhood friend of Lauís, whoís now a vicious triad who uses his religion to justify all his evil deeds. Lau is called upon to testify against Tsang using whatever confession heís heard - a definite no-no in the priesthood. 
     There are some well-staged ethical battles in this film, as well as a final opaque action that throws the entire filmís discussion out of whack. Lau canít decide whatís more important - keeping an oath or saving a soul. The fact that the film ends the way it does says volumes, though the deposited pearl of wisdom could still fit on a bubblegum wrapper. 
     Helping matters is the acting, which is excellent. Tsang is marvelous as the self-justifying triad and Lau underplays his role effectively. Equally impressive is Carman Lee, who shows integrity as Lauís defense lawyer. Sadly, Derek Chiu directs with an iron sledgehammer. He doesnít use it much, but he breaks your skull with it when he does. His lack of restraint means some of the most blatant symbolism since Mel Gibson got drawn and quartered in Braveheart. Watch out for falling crosses. (Kozo 1997)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Mei Ah Laser Disc Co., Ltd. Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen