Ungrateful Tink

Somehow this film manages to be almost as odd as its title. I never did figure out what the title was referring to – there is no Tink – but the film certainly is filled with ungrateful characters that you would be unwise to ever turn your back on.

One gets the impression while watching this film that the filmmakers likely had no idea where it was going from day to day – basic scriptwriting done by the seat of your pants Hong Kong style. The film is just all over the place – scenes begin and sometimes go nowhere – others are gone before you even knew they were there - characters are introduced and then when the writers can’t think what to do with them, they kill them off (or perhaps the actors had other commitments!). This sort of fast food filmmaking tends to break down a film from time to time and the pace of the film suffers seriously. I sat there wondering if this film was ever really going to end – or would all the characters have to be killed off first. Just about – but then in the last ten minutes the film catches a second wind and barely makes it to the finish line still on its feet.

By now Anthony Wong could play his character in his sleep – and at times it looked like he was – as he is a cop straddling the world of the law and the shadowy world of the triads. Though basically a decent sort, he still takes bribes and favors from the wrong people. He thinks he has it all figured out – that he can play both sides of the game – he knows just how far he can go – but he doesn’t realize that he is playing in a pool along side some hungry sharks.  He gets caught in a dangerous vortex created by the ambitions of a young triad member (To Tai-yue) that Wong considers a friend and a young cop that Wong is a mentor to.
In the background are two women who are perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this film. One is like a triad Lady Macbeth (Celia Sze) urging her man on, while the other – Wong’s girlfriend – for much of the film seems to be little more than a flower vase, but shows some deadly thorns when her interests are at stake. This is the second film in which I have seen this actress (Lam Mei-hing) in (the other being Francis Ng’s girlfriend in Bullets over Summer) and both her looks and her thoughtful performances in smallish roles have been impressive.
Lam Mei-hing and Wong
Somewhere in this muddle lies the potential of a good film perhaps, but the director never quite finds it. There are moments when he seems to – only to have it slip from his grasp once again.
To Tai-yue and Celia Sze

My rating for this film: 5.5