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Organized Crime and Triad Bureau
Year: 1994
Anthony Wong and Cecilia Yip
Director: Kirk Wong Chi-Keung
Producer: Danny Lee Sau-Yin
Cast: Danny Lee Sau-Yin, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Cecilia Yip Tung, Roy Cheung Yiu-Yeung, Parkman Wong Pak-Man, Elizabeth Lee Mei-Fung, Fan Siu-Wong, Michael Lam Wai-Leung
The Skinny: Cop Danny Lee chases bad guy Anthony Wong all over Hong Kong. From Kirk Wong, director of The Big Hit.
     Anyone familiar with Hong Kong action cinema will surely be familiar to the cop/triad genre. In short, there's usually a sharply dressed, greedy triad leader who takes great pleasure in killing his enemies in various creative ways. He almost always has a slew of equally violent men working under him as well as a bevy of beautiful women. Conversely, there's always the dedicated hard-ass cop who'll do anything to catch him. This film certainly has those elements. In this case Anthony Wong plays triad leader Tung and Danny Lee plays Inspector Lee.
     The difference between Organized Crime and Triad Bureau and other films of this genre is the depth of the characters. Lines between good and evil that are normally clearly drawn in black and white in films of this type aren't so simple this time out. Tung is not simply a greedy killer. He is a criminal, yes, but a criminal with a code of honor. He loves his son and is deeply in love with his number one mistress, who he rescues from a rapist in a well-placed flashback early on in the film. The mistress (played by Cecilia Yip) even undergoes her own character development. She chooses to stay with Tung despite his womanizing because she feels loyal to him for saving her life.
     On the opposite side, Danny Lee's Inspector Lee is not simply a dedicated cop, but an obsessed one who crosses the line on several occasions by actually breaking the law in order to uphold it. Not a new concept by any means, but it is extremely well executed in this fast paced actioner. Lee's motivations for catching Tung are never made clear. Perhaps he is so obsessed because he is picked on by the other police officers for having no life and needs to prove himself. The movie doesn't concern itself with the "whys" but lets the actions of the characters do the explaining. Of course, they all wind up shooting it out at the film's climax, but the filmmakers resist the clichés right up to the very end, and there are no easy answers (or outs) for any of the characters.
     A lesser actor than Anthony Wong would not have done triad leader Tung justice. Only Wong can play the gray area between good and bad this well. When asked about this perfomance in an interview Wong said he felt it was only "tolerably good." He needn't have been so humble. I rented this expecting a plain cop/bad guy flick but I was pleasantly surprised that Organized Crime and Triad Bureau turned out to be so special. (Magicvoice 2002)
Availability: DVD (USA)
Region 1 NTSC
Tai Seng Video Marketing
Cantonese Language Track
Removable English Subtitles
image courtesy of Tai Seng Video Marketing
back to top Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen