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On the Run
Year: 1988
Yuen Biao and Pat Ha
Director: Alfred Cheung Kin-Ting
Cast: Yuen Biao, Pat Ha Man-Chik, Charlie Chin Chiang-Lin, Yuen Wah, Bowie Lam Bo-Yi, Alex To Tak-Wai, Philip Ko Fei, Lo Lieh, Peter Ngor Chi-Kwan
The Skinny: Underrated noir thriller that grabs you by the balls and squeezes for about ninety minutes. Simply a terrific movie.
by Kozo:
     Darker-than-dark noir thriller is one damn fine Hong Kong flick and proof that Alfred Cheung can actually direct, a supposition that usually holds little weight since his last two movies were The Group and The Extra
     Yuen Biao is a down-on-his-luck cop who’s counting on his ex-wife to provide possible emigration to the United States. However, his ex-wife is a narcotics officer that promptly gets snuffed in a professional hit. Yuen immediately begins chasing the killer, a cool-as-ice hitwoman played by Pat Ha Man-Chik. However, it turns out that the guys who ordered the hit were CID, former Lucky Star Charlie Ching. Yuen’s dead wife used to be sleeping with Ching and found out that he was running drugs. Ching goes about trying to off Yuen and Ha, who join forces to get the hell out of dodge. Then things get worse. 
     This is a by-the-numbers crime thriller that’s raised to another level by an incredibly dark sense of humor and a knack for doing the unexpected. This film takes you for a ride, managing to assault, frustate, and delight at regular intervals. Sure there are cheesy moments, but the film never ceases to be entertaining or compelling. 
     Yuen Biao never does any kung-fu and manages to bring the proper weight to his role. However, the film absolutely belongs to Pat Ha, who displays an intense physical presence as possibly the most absurd killer in HK Cinema history. She’s a cold-blooded hitwoman with a heart of gold that sports a ridiculously exaggerated Jackie-O hairstyle. And still, she commands respect and sympathy. Probably one of the most underrated Hong Kong movies around. That which we love about HK Cinema is in this film. See it. Now. (Kozo 1999)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Fortune Star / Deltamac
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Mega Star Video Distribution, Ltd.

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