Issue #289       HOME          E-mail:        BACK ISSUES        November 14th, 2005

Long Arm of the Law (Part III)
(1989; Johnny Mak Production/Movie Impact)

Cantonese: Saang gong kei bing dai saam chap
Mandarin: Sheng gang qi bing di san ji
English: Flag Soldiers of Guangzhou Province and Hong Kong
Alternate English Title: Escape from Hong Kong, Long Arm of the Law Part 3

  RATING: 6/10


Falsely implicated in a robbery, Li Cheung-kong (Andy Lau Tak-wah) is found guilty and sentenced to death but manages to escape from his firing squad. While trying to cross over the border into HK, his life is saved by pretty Sheung Mun (Elizabeth Lee Mei-fung), who is also trying to escape from China. Upon getting established in HK, Li learns that Mun has been sold into prostitution and makes an unsuccessful attempt to rescue her. Li then agrees to accompany Mun's captor (Che-Kirk Wong Chi-keung) on a jewellery store heist in exchange for her release. After being briefly reunited with his love, Li is told that he will be killed unless he agrees to spend another year with the gang. Making matters worse is the fact that Mao (Elvis Tsui Kam-kong), the persistent Mainland policeman who arrested Li, has journeyed to HK and is systematically tracking him down.

Andy Lau Tak-wah Elizabeth Lee Mei-fung

The action scenes are as exciting as one has come to expect from director Michael Mak Dong-kit and this production team, and the final shootout in a dilapidated apartment building is especially good. Special credit must be given to Andy Lau, who performs some very impressive stunts and more than holds his own during the hand-to-hand combat. The drawn-out storyline is old hat, but remains engrossing. However, the ignorant Mainland stereotypes are an embarrassment, even for the time, and several scenes involving Lau and Lee’s relationship, as well as the inevitable clash of political ideologies, are unabashedly corny. Actor/director Che-Kirk Wong makes an impressively duplicitous and slimy villain; the interrogation scene he shares with Elvis Tsui (whose character is a none-too-subtle symbol of Communist ruthlessness, from his name on down) is a gem. Max Mok Siu-chung co-stars; Robin Shou Wan-bo, Ng Hong-ning, and John Ladalski also appear.

Elvis Tsui Kam-kong Che-Kirk Wong Chi-keung


It took ages, but LONG ARM OF THE LAW PART 3 (onscreen title) has finally hit DVD and the results are mostly positive. Minor wear pops up on occasion, a few panning shots stutter (suggesting possible PAL-conversion issues), and there is some minor smearing and edge instability. Overall, though, the presentation more than passes muster and boasts gorgeous hues that do justice to Derek Wan Man-kit’s cinematography. The audio is a bit less satisfying, with the original mono not a part of the package. Some new foley has been added to the tracks (Dolby Digital 5.1 for both languages, plus an additional DTS option for the Cantonese version) and the music track is too prominent, but the audio is workable. The disc comes packaged in a cardboard outer sleeve and includes three index card-sized lobbycard reproductions with a calendar on the reverse side. In a rarity for HK DVDs, there is also a chapter listing insert, though it is in Chinese only. There is a menu option marked "trailers," but it only offers one for this feature.

Max Mok Siu-chung Robin Shou Wan-bo

This DVD is available at:

Images in this review courtesy of Joy Sales Films and Video Distributors. To read captions, hover mouse over image.

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Copyright © John Charles 2000 - 2005. All Rights Reserved.


- Hong Kong Release

NTSC – Region 0

Joy Sales Films and Video Distributors #JS/DVD/753 /HK

Dolby Digital 5.1/DTS

Post-synced Cantonese and Dubbed Mandarin Language

Subtitles (Optional): English, Traditional and Simplified Chinese

24 Chapters

16:9 Enhanced (1.85:1)

107 Minutes


- Australia: R18+

Contains brutal violence, sexual violence, and coarse language

10 A Masterpiece
9 Excellent
8 Highly Recommended
7 Very Good
6 Recommended
5 Marginal Recommendation
4 Not Recommended
3 Poor
2 Definitely Not Recommended
1 Dreadful