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Issue #177 HOME E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com BACK ISSUES September 15th, 2003

Colour of the Truth
(2003; China Star Entertainment Group/ S & W Entertainment/ Jing's Production/ BOB & Partners Co.)

A Masterpiece
Highly Recommended
Very Good
Marginal Recommendation
Not Recommended
Definitely Not Recommended

Cantonese: Hak baak sam lam
Mandarin: Hei bai xin lin
English: Black White Forest

When his police officer father 7-Up (Lau Ching-wan) and Mongkok gangster Blind Chiu (Francis Ng Chun-yu) are gunned down on a rooftop, young Cola is convinced that Chief Inspector Huang Jiang (Anthony Wong Chau-sang) pulled the trigger. Officially, 7-Up's death is deemed to have been in the line of duty but Chiu's followers believe that the Huang's ambition led him to eliminate his fellow officer. Cola (Raymond Wong Ho-yin) eventually joins the police force and sufficient time has passed that no one remembers him as being 7-Up's son. He, however, has not forgotten about Huang and neither has Chiu's son, Ray (Jordan Chan Siu-chun), who has kept an eye on Cola over the years and intermittently given him cash and guidance. Eager to get closer to his target, Cola accepts a transfer to Huang's unit but gradually begins to respect the man, when his qualities as an exceptional police officer and compassionate human being become too obvious to dismiss. However, Ray (now a powerful and respected businessman and community leader) re-enters Cola's life and demands that he join him on a mission to destroy Huang's reputation and, then, end the man’s life. This corresponds with the unit's assignment to protect affluent criminal Wang (Patrick Tse Yin) from a vengeance-seeking gang of Vietnamese drug runners (led by Terence Yin Chi-wei) out to eliminate him and his family.

Wong Jing wrote and co-directed (with Marco Mak Chi-sin) this entertaining thriller, which reveals a surer hand than usual in its structure. The characters are nicely developed, the premise is intriguing, the twists are largely plausible, and there is some fairly stirring, story-driven action to help keep things moving along. Less effectual are the performances. While adequate in supporting roles that require nothing more than a camera-friendly face and cheerful disposition, Raymond Wong is far too lacking in depth and expression to be a leading man at this stage of his career. As a result, his character lacks the complexity that the screenplay requires; the story may have some unexpected turns but we never doubt for a second which direction Cola will take. Chapman To Man-chat's idiotic comic relief cop is an unfortunate concession to Wong Jing's age-old "Give Them Everything" formula and reducing his screentime somewhat would have been a good idea. Terence Yin's insane foreign killer act is also starting to get tired and attempts to deglamorize Pinky Cheung (as Cola's plain, middle-aged mother) mostly make one wonder why she was cast. These weaknesses are inadvertently amplified by Anthony Wong, who is so relaxed, believable, and impressive here, most everyone else suffers by comparison. There is also a bit too much emphasis on busy visuals and glossy transitions but COLOUR OF THE TRUTH remains a largely commendable effort, with that absorbing scenario and Anthony Wong's estimable turn more than sufficient grounds to recommend it. Gillian Chung Yun-tung (as Wang's daughter, a largely extraneous character that adds little more to the proceedings than a half-hearted attempt at romance), Berg Ng Ting-yip (on the right side of the law for a change), Jimmy Wong Kar-lok, Isabel Chan Yat-ning (LOOKING FOR MISTER PERFECT), Winnie Leung Man-yee, and Mang Fai (playing his 10,496th criminal goon) are among the supporting players.

Cover art courtesy Mei Ah.

Anthony Wong. Background: Raymond Wong (left), Jordan Chan. Image courtesy Mei Ah.

Raymond Wong (left) and Anthony Wong. Image courtesy Mei Ah.

Chapman To. Image courtesy Mei Ah.
Mei Ah #DVD-615 (Hong Kong label)

Sync Sound Cantonese (Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS) amd Dubbed Mandarin (Dolby Digital 5.1) Language Tracks

Optional Subtitles in English and Chinese (Traditional or Simplified)

10 Chapters Illustrated in the Menu With Clips

Enhanced for 16:9 Displays

Letterboxed (1.78:1)

Coded for ALL Regions

NTSC Format

104 Minutes

Contains moderate violence

DVD menu courtesy Mei Ah.

Hong Kong: IIB
Singapore: PG

The 16:9 presentation looks very nice overall, with only some minor contrast issues detracting slightly. Marco Wan Ho-kit's unusual, African-influenced soundtrack is sufficiently well-served by the mix, as are the gunfights and more layered sequences (DTS is also included). Supplementary materials consist of two trailers, an 8 minute Making Of... (permanent Chinese subtitles only), a bilingual cast/characters section, and a trailer for LOVE UNDERCOVER 2: LOVE MISSION in the Best Buy section.

COLOUR OF THE TRUTH is available at Poker Industries.

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