Hong Kong Digital
is a recurring series of movie reviews by John Charles -- associate
editor / film reviewer for Video Watchdog magazine and the author
of The Hong Kong Filmography.
Writer / director Herman Yau Lai-to re-united the stars of his horror sleeper NIGHTMARES IN PRECINCT 7 (reviewed in issue #94) for this compact thriller, which offers just as many surprises. CIDs Nam (Andy Hui Chi-on) and Lung (Simon Lui Yu-yeung, who also co-wrote the picture) are intent on nailing triad boss Naja (BIG BULLET's Berg Ng Ting-yip) and decide to shake him down one evening. However, the man's lieutenant, So Wai-fai (Michael Tse Tin-wah) and some lawyers put a quick end to Nam's game. As a result of this humiliation, Nam does not lift a finger when he sees June (Loletta Lee Lai-chun) casually walk over to So's expensive car and demolish it with a sledge hammer. June suffers from periodic memory loss and is given to strange, violent outbursts but Nam finds himself falling for the mysterious woman regardless. When So and his goons rough up Lung in an alley one evening, Nam intervenes and, during the subsequent struggle, accidentally kills the triad. The court rules that Nam acted in self-defence and he is acquitted but Sos powerful father is determined to avenge his son.
Loletta Lee Lai-chun (left) and Michael
Tse Tin-wah (right). Image courtesy Modern.
The synopsis makes this sound like a pretty run-of-the mill crime thriller but, once Sos father has declared his intentions, KILLING END goes off in unexpected directions and is best experienced without any prior knowledge of what happens (don't read the keep case write-up prior to viewing the disc). Hui and Lee duplicate the marvellous chemistry they had in NIGHTMARES, Yu Kwok-ping's cinematography is quite inventive for a low-budget production, and Yau continues to be one of the more conscientious commercial directors working in HK cinema these days. While not altogether satisfying, KILLING END is decidedly better than the majority of B-movies coming out of HK these days, while also demonstrating more audacity than many of the major ones as well. Alfred Cheung Kin-ting, Chin Kar-lok, and Shing Fui-on have supporting roles.