Earlier cops and triads flick from Andrew Lau, who later scored
with the Young and Dangerous movies. Jacky Cheung stars as
an undercover cop who finds himself tortured by his life among the
triads. He’s locked into his job with no way out, and he’s starting
to find the triad guys (led by “The Triad Actor,” Roy Cheung) more
honorable than his supremely despicable superior officer (Kong Wah).
The problems he faces are numerous. He
can't reveal to his girlfriend (Gigi Lai) what his real occupation
is, for fear that it'll blow his cover. As a result, he's despised
and ridiculed for being a punk instead of revered for his bravery
as an undercover cop. What’s the use of being a good cop? If you’re
good, you end up like Shing Fui-On, who plays the “cop who’s about
to retire, but is sent out one last time.” Guess what happens to
him? I won't tell you, but anybody who's seen a cop genre film could
give you the answer damn quick.
As a result of genre conventions like the
above, the film becomes predictable and the angst rather old. Still,
Jacky Cheung is great and the film stays interesting throughout.
Roy Cheung is actually rather likable in his role, which is great
considering he makes such a menacing and despicable bad guy. Wu
Chien-Lien appears against type as Roy Cheung's sister, a problem
child who just needs a good guy (like Jacky Cheung) to set her straight.
Despite that pitiful bit of character development, her performance
and character are engaging. Tony Leung Ka-Fai provides able support
as one of Jacky's triad friends.
Nothing really new occurs here, but this
turns out to be a reasonably entertaining genre picture. Andrew
Lau is a capable, if not spectacular director. Jacky Cheung was
nominated for Best Actor at the 1994 Hong Kong Film Awards but lost
to Tony Leung Chiu-Wai for Chungking Express.