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The Final Option
Year: 1994
Director: Gordon Chan Car-Seung
Writer: Chan Hing-Kai
Action: Bruce Law Lai-Yin
Cast: Michael Wong Mun-Tak, Peter Yung Kam-Cheung, Chan Kwok-Bong, Carman Lee Yeuk-Tung, Vindy Chan Wai-Yi, Michael Lam Wai-Leung, Gott Ying-Kin, To Wai-Kwong, Lok Tat-Wah, Paul Fonoroff
The Skinny: Interesting cop soap opera that probably started the entire genre off.
by Kozo:
     The Final Option isn’t just one of those movies that dramatizes the lives of cops, their girlfriends and all their pains and whatnot - this is THE film that dramatizes the lives of cops, their girlfriends, etc. etc. It's directed by Gordan Chan and written by Chan Hing-Kai, the two men most responsible for the proliferation of Cop Soap Opera like Option Zero, Best of the Best, etc. 
     The film focuses on the Flying Tigers or SDU, HK’s version of SWAT. Michael Wong is the leader and Patrick Yung and Chan Kwok-Bong are his rookies. The two must make it in the SDU while their girlfriends worry about them at home. Then bad guys show up and the group must use their newly found skills and teamwork to save the day. 
     Most of this pride-inducing recruitment film for the SDU can be predicted miles away, which doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be watched. It’s not bad overall and Gordon Chan knows his stuff, but the film isn’t completely interesting either. One of the film’s largest problems is the fact that Peter Yung is essentially the male lead and he’s plastic as all hell. Carman Lee shows up as the main girlfriend, but her character seems more obligatory than anything else.
     The by-the-book, official procedure sort of stuff (which is the hallmark of these films) is done all right, but as far as integrating it into character...well, this film sort of falls short. This synergy of cops and personal lives was covered much better in In the Heat of Summer (which also featured Chan Kwok-Bong), and it was a third less pretentious. 
     This film probably wouldn’t get such a negative-sounding review if it weren’t for the heaps of praise given to it by various critics. It was nominated for Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor (Chan Kwok-Bong), and Editing at the 1994 HK Film Awards. You may want to watch this film just to see if you can figure out why. Still, this film is a complete and total masterpiece compared to the foul-smelling, disease-ridden excrement called First Option. The Final Option is average. First Option is garbage. 
(Kozo 1997)


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