Thursday, 8 October 2009

Rebellion (2009) @ 同門

At a glance:
Delayed HK release, from last year. If you take away lead pair Shawn Yue and Chapton To, the flick is pretty consistent example of a low-cost but effective Herman Yau piece, like his The First 7th Night earlier this year. Told like a one-night-only gangland epic, Shawn Yue plays fighting ace Po, the unwillin temporary triad boss of the five-gang strong East District. Chaos is the order of the day due to a hit on the big boss and Po must hold the fort until First Lady / Big Sister Cheong Wah (special appearance by TVB's Ada Choi) returns from abroad with further instructions. However, a guessin game takes place within the organisation and everyone from gang leaders to restaurant waitresses joins the chase to protect or destroy the person who did the hit. Chapman To's character, Blackie, wants an all-out war anyway but the cops want in on the game as well.
Bad news on the doorstep:
Only two complaints from me - one is the terribly simple climax and the other is the lazy movie poster. Still, if the money saved on that somehow goes into Yau's pocket, good on you.
Perennial wonderment:
Has Herman Yau gone soft? If anyone thinks his tame Laughing Gor: Turning Point is indeed a turnin point of some sort for a director who is best known for CAT III classics Ebola Virus and Untold Story, they might not be wrong. However, despite a CAT III ratin, Rebellion is actually a story-driven movie which landed the label not because of gore or sex but rather its government's stand on depiction of gangland affairs, if anythin.
Reminds me of:
The time some coppers camped outside my hotel in Causeway Bay because this drunk guy was havin a go at another drunk guy durin a weddin. Nope, Ekin Cheng didn't show up.
Watch out for:
This Jun Kung Shek Leung, who plays a particularly charismatic mob head named Brother Sand. All this actions and words seem totally improvised, as even a Canto-retard friend of mine can point out. Completely entertainin. Turns out he's Portuguese-Chinese and his birth name is Joventino Couto Remotigue Jr. Reminiscent of Anthony Wong as Tai Fei in the Young And Dangerous days, I guess.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
Well they could've thrown in some Ada Choi skin, since Elanne Kwong is just too borin as the tag-along chick. Who doesn't want some of that Miss HK '91 skin, crowfeet eyes or not? Shawn Yue's turn is standard while Chapman To's scene-stealin prowess gets another showcase. All characters seem necessary enough. Solid three-star movie for me.