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Purple Storm
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Daniel Wu and Emil Chow
Chinese: 紫雨風暴
Year: 1999
Director: Teddy Chan Tak-Sum
Producer: John Chong Ching, Solon So Chi-Hung
Action: Jojo Hui Yuet-Chun, Yip Wai-Chung, Aubrey Lam Oi-Wah
Action: Stephen Tung Wai
Cast: Daniel Wu, Kam Kwok-Leung, Emil Chow Wah-Kin, Joan Chen, Josie Ho Chiu-Yi, Patrick Tam Yiu-Man, Theresa Lee Yi-Hung, Michael Tong Man-Lung, Moses Chan Ho, Alan Moo
The Skinny: One of the few Hollywood-wannabe Hong Kong action thrillers that manages to be both interesting AND exciting.
by Kozo:

In the latest HK attempt at big-budget action filmmaking, director Teddy Chan (Downtown Torpedoes) brings us something unheard of: a story. Purple Storm tells the tale of Todd (Daniel Wu), a Khmer Rouge terrorist working for legendary evil bastard Soong (Kam Kwok-Leung). Soong’s plan is to wipe out much of Southeast Asia with a lethal poison which, when seeded into the rain clouds, will liquefy people in a bloody purplish-red mess (hence the title Purple Storm). 

Soong’s plan goes awry when Todd is injured, gets amnesia, and is promptly captured by HK’s anti-terrorist unit. Headed by a dour and surprisingly effective Emil Chow, the HK do-gooders go the morally questionable route of brainwashing Todd. They give him a new identity and a new past as an undercover working for the government. Joan Chen makes a dubbed and welcome appearance as Todd’s psychologist, who takes it upon herself to make Todd not just an effective undercover, but a good person to boot. That’s the key to Todd’s eventual path, and the saving grace of this effective action thriller.

In comparison to its predecessors Gen-X Cops and Downtown Torpedoes, Purple Storm relies far less on pop-star good looks and in-your-face attitude. Most of the actors play against type with surprising effectiveness. Emil Chow and Josie Ho are particularly good, and Daniel Wu manages to carry the film decently. The action from ace Stephen Tung is up-to-standard, but somewhat sporadic. There is far more plot and narrative than one would expect from an HK action film, but it makes the film better if not more palatable to mass audiences. Ultimately this is an event picture that succeeds at being far more well-rounded than one would expect for a Hong Kong film. (Kozo 2000)


19th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards
• Winner - Best Cinematography (Arthur Wong Ngok-Tai)
• Winner - Best Action Design (Stephen Tung Wai)
• Winner - Best Editing (Kwong Chi-Leung)
• Winner - Best Costume Design (Ng Lei-Lo)
• Winner - Best Sound (Tsang King-Cheung)
• Nomination - Best Supporting Actress (Josie Ho Chiu-Yi)
• Nomination - Best Art Direction (Mak Kwok-Keung)
• Nomination - Best Original Film Score (Peter Kam Pui-Tak)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Mega Star (HK)
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandrain Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
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image courtesy of Universe Laser & Video Co., Ltd. Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen