Hong Kong Digital
is a recurring series of movie reviews by John Charles -- a film
reviewer for Video Watchdog magazine and the author of The Hong
Francis Ng Chun-yu. Image courtesy Universe.
Those who enjoy watching Francis Ng Chun-yu go over the top will not want to miss this low-budget crime thriller, in which the star takes big bites out of the scenery, while blasting like-sized holes in half of the supporting cast. Hood Lau Bill (Ng) becomes unhinged during a meeting with an associate and ends up executing the man and his entire family, while sheepish partner, Chiu Kwai-shing (Simon Lui Yiu-yeung), looks on helplessly. After laying low for two months, the pair are dying of boredom and start to make mistakes, like going out on the town for karaoke and hookers.
Yu Rongguang (left) and Joseph Cheung Tung-cho (right). Image courtesy Universe.
Public Security officer Tung (Yu Rongguang) has been doggedly working on the case and is in a pitched battle with an Interpol rival in the hopes of impressing his superior / mentor (veteran director / actor Joseph Cheung Tung-cho) by apprehending the fugitives first. Flashbacks reveal that the killings were motivated by a drug deal that went bad when the crack Kwai-shing cooked up turned out to be dangerously impure, a side effect that didn't stop Bill from smoking it on a daily basis. Now more deranged than ever, the gangster is no condition to hear that Kwai-shing has fallen in love and plans on going straight.
Simon Lui Yu-yeung. Image courtesy Universe.
Aside from a couple of interesting visual touches, writer / director Bosco Lam Hing-lung (CHINESE TORTURE CHAMBER STORY) cannot do much to energize his slender screenplay and the opening third is so awkwardly structured, one can hardly tell the flashbacks from the contemporary bits. Francis Ng is one of HK's most dependable actors but this is far from his best work; by comparison, his turn as Ugly Kwan in YOUNG AND DANGEROUS seems like the height of austerity. Still, his odd, unmotivated mugging and borderline neanderthal body language is engagingly strange, as is the bizarre masochistic relationship his character has with Lui (with the latter literally imploring Bill to vent his anger by beating him up). Alas, NEVER COMPROMISE was conceived to be nothing more than disposable video and cable television filler and too much of the film plays out that way for it to be worthwhile. Sherming Yiu Lok-yee appears briefly.
Simon Lui. Image courtesy Universe.
Francis Ng. Image courtesy Universe.