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Young and Dangerous 5
  |     review   |     notes     |     availability     |     also see      |  
Ho-Nam vs. Ho-Nam: Ekin Cheng and Mark Cheng
Chinese: 98古惑仔之龍爭虎鬥
Year: 1998
Director: Andrew Lau Wai-Keung
Producer: Manfred Wong
Action: Dion Lam Dik-On, Li Chung-Chi
Cast: Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin, Shu Qi, Mark Cheng Ho-Nam, Danny Lee Sau-Yin, Chin Kar-Lok, Paul Chun Pui, Jerry Lamb Hiu-Fung, Jason Chu Wing-Tong, Sandra Ng Kwun-Yu, Wan Yeung-Ming, Alex Man Chi-Leung, Ng Chi-Hung, Law Lan, Lee Siu-Kei, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Wong Tin-Lam, Wong Chi-Yeung, Billy Chow Bei-Lei, Simon Lui Yu-Yeung, Kwan Hoi-San, Ronald Wong Ban
  The Skinny: While entertaining enough, this latest installment shows that the Young and Dangerous formula is starting to falter.
by Kozo:

Just in time for Lunar New Year, the guys at BOB rushed this latest installment in the continuing saga of triad boy Chan Ho-Nam (Ekin Cheng). However, the return of Chan Ho-Nam comes with a price: no Chicken, as Jordan Chan was too busy to lend his welcome presence to the latest Y&D outing. 

The results are mixed: Ekin Cheng manages to carry things pretty well by himself, but without Jordan Chan the series loses its best actor and most compelling character. In his place, we have Chin Kar-Lok as Big Head, an ex-triad who’s dragged back into the triad game by his former Hung Hing buddies. His mission: defeat the Tung Sing’s best kickboxer in a Tung Sing/Hung Hing grudge match. 

However, there’s more at stake than mere “face.” There’s a cutthroat Malaysian businessman (Paul Chun), who joins forces with evil Tung Sing branch leader Szeto Ho-Nam (played by Mark Cheng Ho-Nam) to help do in our Hung Hing guys. Danny Lee is on board as “Lee Sir,” the local anti-triad cop who takes a shine to Chan Ho-Nam. 

All in all, this installment is decent but by far the weakest of the bunch. First of all, where is everybody? Chicken is absent, Yee died in the last flick, and the filmmakers aren’t done offing people yet. Plus, there’s the absence of the series’ most enjoyable supporting characters, Spencer Lam and Karen Mok as the preacher and his daughter. 

In place of the young fellas, we have characters like Sister Thirteen (Sandra Ng) and Ben Hon (Wan Yeung-Ming). The series doesn’t seem so Young and Dangerous any longer, a fact reinforced by the fact that Chan Ho-Nam spends nearly the entire film in a suit and tie.

On the plus side, Mark Cheng is very good as the evil Ho-Nam, if a bit undeveloped. Also, Shu Qi is quite winning as the requisite love interest. See it if you loved the other ones, just don’t expect to be blown away. (Kozo 1998)

Notes: • Don't despair: There's a Young and Dangerous 6. It's called Born to Be King.
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Universe Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
Also see:

Young and Dangerous (1996)
Young and Dangerous 2 (1996)
Young and Dangerous 3 (1996)
Young and Dangerous 4 (1997)
Born to be King (2000)
Young and Dangerous: The Prequel (1998)
Portland Street Blues (1998)
Those Were the Days (2000)

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