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.
HK cops Lo (Alex Fong Chung-sun) and Tam (Convoy Chan Chi-chung) go on an unsanctioned trip to Taipei to find Lee Pin, a security guard who stole $HK30 million dollars from the evidence room. Unless the money is found and returned to HK within 48 hours, the prosecution's case against arms dealer Hao falls apart and he will walk out of court a free man. The pair locate Lee's daughter, singer Min (MR. NICE GUY's Micki Li Ting-yi), but are separated when some triads attack them. Min and Tam (who is a dead ringer for Min's dead boyfriend) set out to find her father, while the local police captain (Jack Gao Jie) apprehends Lo and intends to keep him on ice. Lo manages to escape custody but Hao's hitmen (led by Mark Cheng Ho-nam) have already arrived in Taiwan and Lo's undercover contact (Chen Yao-hu) is re-evaluating his loyalties.
Alex Fong Chung-sun. Image courtesy Winson.
RED RAIN gets off to a routine start but director James Yuen Sai-sang
(THE WEDDING DAYS, MY LOVING TROUBLE 7) works a few laudable components
into the second half (the climactic gun battle plays out in a messy and
chaotic fashion that is closer to the truth than one usually sees). Ultimately,
though, the central conflict is never more than mildly interesting and
the script's attempts to develop and (in the case of Lo) humanize the
characters are perfunctory. Fong gives a solid performance that netted
him the Best Actor prize at The Taipei Film Festival, though he has done
equally good work elsewhere. BULLETS OVER SUMMER's Lam Mei-ching (as Chen
Yao-hu's amusingly clueless girlfriend) and co-producer Henry Fong Ping
have supporting roles.