The Blood Rules

If you are going to be professional robbers in which a lot of killing is a way of doing business, you better be tough and this foursome certainly is that. Michael Wong, Lam Suet, Jackie Lui and Suki Kwan can take it as well as mete it out. At one point in quick succession Michael is shot a few times, takes a thorough pounding and is then run over by a car – and he still manages to get on his feet! Suki is just as tough – even after taking a bullet or two she blasts away with her pump action shot gun.

Though not nearly as smooth or well shot, this film has a definite Milkyway flavor about it. The crisp well staged economical action scenes with a fast moving script about the dynamics of a small group of professionals brought “The Mission” very much to mind. The fact that three cast members from that film are also in this one reinforces that impression.

Jackie Lui, Michael Wong, Suki Kwan, Lam Suet and Wong Tin-lam
The four of them are a tightly knit well-oiled machine during an assignment – and in the opening scene they ably steal some loot in a bloody well-planned heist. Uncle Lam (Wong Tin-lam) who gives them their assignments has three rules of conducting business – 1. Never be extravagant, 2. Never show off and 3. Never be a traitor. Without rules, he explains, the world gets messy. Before the film is over all three of these rules are broken.

As disciplined as the group is during an operation, it turns out that their private lives are not so neat and this “family” is showing visible signs of dysfunction. Michael has a wife and child but is no longer in love with her – Suki is in love with an unresponsive Michael – Lam Suet is in love with an oblivious Suki – and Jackie just wants to “fever” with a whining harridan who has “trouble” written across her forehead.

Michael thinks it is time to shut down the group for a while – but Uncle Lam convinces them to do one last job. An easy one he promises. What could go wrong? Everything it turns out and soon they are on the run from the cops, from their target and from their betrayer. Running isn’t their only agenda though – so is revenge.
The characters all play out fairly well as they are fleshed out just enough to make the viewer care about their fates. Wong has a sense of honor to his family, Suki is tender one moment and a killing machine the next, Jackie is brash and irresponsible and Lam Suet just wants to go to Bermuda to swim among the tropical fish with his friends. Those fish start to look more and more like a far away dream as they battle to stay alive among a fusillade of gunfire and hired killers.
The film has a few drawbacks – a subplot detailing a corny cop chasing after them has little point to it – and a few false notes of melodrama are thrown in  – but overall this is a decent if modest action flick.

My rating for this film: 7.0