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The Mean Street Story
Chinese: 廟街故事 "Will he ever stop that damned snoring?"
Ekin Cheng and Wu Chien-Lien
Year: 1995
Director: Andrew Lau Wai-Keung
Producer: Wong Jing
Action: Dion Lam Dik-On
Cast: Dior Cheng Yee-Kin (Ekin Cheng), Wu Chien-Lien, Eric Kot Man-Fai, Annabelle Lau Hiu-Tung, Tommy Wong Kwong-Leung, Jimmy Wong Shu-Kei, Lo Meng, Mimi Chu Mi-Mi
The Skinny: Occasionally entertaining triad picture that crumbles when it starts to recycle old genre clichés. Regardless of how harmless the film is, it's still an unnecessary journey.
by Kozo:

Precursor to Andrew Lau’s Young and Dangerous series finds Dior Cheng as Melvin, a Temple Street boy who isn’t exactly a triad, but pretty much does the same stuff. One night while hanging with pal Crab (the annoying Eric Kot), Melvin accidentally kills a triad who’s pushing around Sue (the beautiful Wu Chien-Lien). 

Melvin gets sent up the river for four years, and when he gets out he finds himself stuck in those dilemmas that ex-con boys from Temple Street find themselves in (i.e. how to make a living, what to do about triad buddies, and how to handle Sue’s long unrequited love for him). Despite getting a job as an insurance salesman (thanks to Sue), Melvin finds himself unable to escape his Temple Street roots because “everytime he tries to get out, they pull him back in.” Furthermore, he’s persecuted by Sue’s dad, who just doesn’t like those boys from Temple Street. And there’s an unsavory loan shark after both Crab and Melvin. Sue and Melvin get together, dad gets pissed, and then IT ALL GOES TO HELL.

This is an OK film, but the drama is a little self-indulgent considering that the plotline is just your standard triad drama stuff regurgitated for the umpteenth time. From the way it ends, you’d think The Mean Street Story was about the love between Sue and Melvin, but in truth, Sue is little more than glorified scenery. That said, she’s ably played by Wu Chien Lien, and Dior Cheng is his usual handsome, wooden self. Eric Kot is Eric Kot; take him or leave him. Andrew Lau hits us with his typical hand-held cinematography that either jazzes or annoys. Entertaining, but not noteworthy or special. (Kozo 1996)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Universe Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Removable English and Chinese subtitles

image courtesy of Universe Laser & Video Co., Ltd. Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen