Organized Crime & Triad
Reviewed by YTSL
Watching this 1994 crime/police drama, one gets
the sense that its director (Kirk Wong, who also helmed "Crime Story",
"Rock and Roll Cop" and "Police Confidential") and producer cum star (Danny
Lee, who is infamous in HK movie circles for wishing he really were a cop)
meant for viewers of their film to sympathize with those of its characters
who are officially on the right side of the law but do not hesitate to
employ strong arm tactics to corner their criminal prey and make them pay
for what wrong acts they have committed. However, I couldn't help
but root for the most part for the nominal villains of the piece.
This not least on account of the desperate -- for much of the movie --
duo portrayed by Anthony Wong and Cecilia Yip strongly coming across as
nicer, more loyal and more caring folk than Inspector Lee (portrayed by
guess who?) and his squad of bullies as well as just plain over-enthusiastic
exponents of thoroughly rough justice.
It (also) does not help the fictionalized ORGANIZED
CRIME & TRIAD BUREAU's case that the reason why Tung (Anthony Wong's
character), Cindy (Cecilia Yip's) and the other members of their gang are
so wanted by the police is not made explicit until fairly late into the
film. By then, one has been made witness to the torture -- using
such seemingly mundane items as perfume and wet towels along with various
sections of the human body -- of some of the apprehended individuals by
Inspector Lee's men (and one woman). This after the kind of massive
and thorough manhunt that would seem to guarantee the dehumanization of
the hunted individuals.
Despite having such troubled feelings and reactions,
I have to confess to not being able to stop viewing ORGANIZED CRIME &
TRIAD BUREAU all the way through to its very end (despite my originally
planning to watch it over a couple of evenings). Although this seriously
humorless -- and morally dubious -- offering has a simple storyline (which
only really gets complicated by way of a couple of secondary characters
turning out to have certain allegiances and debts that one wouldn't have
thought that they would have), it manages to retain an air of suspense
that really made me hanker to know what would happen next in the film and
what would be the fates of each of the main characters.
ORGANIZED CRIME & TRIAD BUREAU ends with an
extended action sequence which has people blasting away with shotguns and
pistols that may not be greatly spectacular yet is still pretty exciting.
Other notable segments of the movie include that which have Cindy softly
crooning -- almost whispering -- a haunting song whose lyrics contain such
lines as "Our love is as pure as snow...Trust each other, that's what love
means..."; sometimes in precisely the kind of circumstances that one would
think could really call into question the concept of love. In fact,
those scenes actually touchingly reveal the strength of her and her --
married, but not to her... -- man's commitment to each other (as much as
certain more loudly dramatic actions). A very nice -- and quiet,
relative to the rest of the film -- moment that one would not expect to
find in films of this nature involves the pleasure that water can give
to two thirsty and dirty individuals.
This production is also distinguished by its possessing
a number of cast members who may not be the biggest name stars of HK cinema
but certainly can give performances which enhance a film's quality.
All in all, I can't understand why Roy Cheung, Fan Siu Wong and the now
retired Elizabeth Lee -- not just Cecilia Yip and Anthony Wong -- have
not been accorded more recognition and adulation than they have.
And re Parkman Wong (who played Inspector Lee's right hand man) and Li
Fai (who played the hardly token female member of "Lee Sir"'s ORGANIZED
CRIME & TRIAD BUREAU): Let me just say here that they are so
convincing as dogged pursuers and rabid interrogators that they have succeeded
in making me fear them in a way that thespians don't usually do.
My rating for the film: 7.5