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A Fighter's Blues

Andy Lau and Takako Tokiwa experience A Fighter's Blues

Chinese: 阿虎  
Year: 2000
Director: Daniel Lee Yan-Kong
Producer: Derek Yee Tung-Sing
Cast: Andy Lau Tak-Wah, Takako Tokiwa, Indhira Jaroeupura, Apichaya Thanatthanapong, Calvin Poon Yuen-Leung
The Skinny: Andy Lau's 100th film also happens to boast his finest onscreen performance. It's a good movie, too.
by Kozo:

Andy Lau turns in his finest performance in this entertaining drama about Tiger (Lau), a kickboxer who is released from prison and finds redemption. The film begins as heís released from prison, but weíre introduced to his demons in flashback. When he was a young boxer, he fell for Thai filmmaker Pim (Indhira Jaroeupura of the film Nang Nak). She was his number one love, though he apparently forgot what drew her to him. She was drawn to his strength and his fighting nature. When she discovers that boxing is only a job to him, he loses her and something else happens that lands him in jail for 10+ years.

In the present he meets Sister Mikoto (Takako Tokiwa, in her second Hong Kong film), who has occasionally looked after Tigerís wayward daughter Ploy (Apichaya Thanatthanapong). Though their reunion is difficult at first, they eventually find some semblance of a father-daughter relationship. Still, Tigerís demons return to haunt him, and when we see exactly what they were, everything comes together in an appropriate and even haunting fashion. 

Plot is not particularly important in this movie. The film is essentially about Tiger and his growth as a man, which overshadows any need for your standard three-act storytelling. Some might feel that Tiger's final decisions are difficult to swallow as they smack of overly dramatic storytelling, but Lau makes the whole thing watchable and compelling. This is probably his best acting, outdistancing his best actor turn in Running Out of Time. Tiger is an opaque role with real depth, and Lau turns in a dark, layered performance. While her character needs just a bit more fleshing out, Takako Tokiwa is again outstanding and beautiful. This is entertaining and even beautiful ride, again showing that Daniel Lee is one of Hong Kong's most competent commercial directors. (Kozo 2000)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen