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Lau Ching-Wan takes aim
Chinese: 高度戒備
Year: 1997
Director: Ringo Lam Ling-Tung
Producer: Joe Man Wai-Ho
Cast: Lau Ching-Wan, Francis Ng Chun-Yu, Amanda Lee Wai-Man, Monica Chan Fat-Yung, Chin Kar-Lok, Emily Kwan Bo-Wai, Jack Gao (Ko Kin), Peter Yung Kam-Cheung, Raymond Tso Wing-Lim, Lee Siu-Kei, Ng Chi-Hung
The Skinny: A near-perfect Ringo Lam film, possessing of a deceptive simplicity that hides greater depths beneath it's uncluttered narrative. Lau Ching-Wan and Francis Ng are both excellent.
 
Review
by Kozo:

Ringo Lam returns to Hong Kong after the tepid Maximum Risk with this top-notch cops n robbers thriller. Lau Ching-Wan is Officer Pao, a stressed cop who investigates a routine murder. The culprit is a loser named Mak Kwan (Francis Ng), who admits to manslaughter, but not the more serious crimes that hes planning with a mainland criminal (Jack Gao). Problem is, Lau and his crew (Chin Kar-Lok, Emily Kwan, and Peter Yung) are on to Mak Kwan thanks to the handy bomb-making materials discovered during the investigation. This leads to an elaborate stakeout as the cops try to discover just exactly what Mak Kwan is up to. 

The action in this film is fairly routine, but Lams direction is terrific. Each moment in this film leads to the next with expert precision. As the film unfolds, we gradually discover the motivations and fears that drive our protagonists, and the line between cop and criminal blurs even more. This is a well-realized treatment of the cop/criminal film, with excellent performances all around. Francis Ng, especially, shines as the almost sympathetic bad guy whos all-too-human in his weaknesses and strengths. As is usual with a Ringo Lam film, the resolution leaves us little to be happy about, but the results are compelling. Full Alert is rife with shades of gray, and the complexity of action and character are fascinating. (Kozo 1997)

 
Awards: 17th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards
• Nomination - Best Picture
• Nomination - Best Director (Ringo Lam Ling-Tung)

• Nomination - Best Actor (Lau Ching-Wan)
• Nomination - Best Editing (Marco Mak Chi-Sin, Lam Nyn Ngai)
• Nomination - Best Sound Effects
4th Annual Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards
• Winner - Best Picture
• Winner - Best Actor (Lau Ching-Wan)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Entertainment
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Removable English and Chinese subtitles
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image courtesy of Mei Ah Laser Disc Co., Ltd.

   
 
 
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