Killers from Beijing


If they had shortened this film to an hour running time, this would have been a fairly solid low budget action film. Instead though director Bowie Lau (Electrical Girl) pads the film with lengthy scenes of the actors chewing up the set with melodramatic monologues and long, moody silences. No doubt the actors probably enjoyed these opportunities to show their acting ability, but towards the end there is so much talking – along with one of the longest death scenes in a film this or any year – that you want to just shout out to them to shut up and shoot somebody.
The Killers and Brother Chick
Four friends (Patrick Tam, Chin Kar-lok, Michael Tong and Tuen Wai-lun) are let go from the Chinese army for being a bit rough during training exercises. When Brother Chick (Ma Tak Chung) comes from Hong Kong with a proposition that they kill a rival triad leader, they hesitate before reluctantly accepting. They really want no part of a criminal life, but the promise of a big payoff is one they can’t refuse. And a trip to Hong Kong of course!
Patrick Tam amd Michael Tong
In Hong Kong they become typical tourists looking to buy good food, cheap vcds and a relaxing hostess bar. It is rather enjoyable watching the scenes of them walking through the streets of Hong Kong because these four actors are recognized by nearly every one they pass by and so everyone in the scene is turning their head and intently watching them. Just four anonymous guys in Hong Kong! Brother Chick introduces them to his boss – Tseung – who is a complete sleaze and not very bright either. Not only did he openly seduce Brother Chick’s wife (“We’re brothers, what does it matter. She is only a woman”), but he tells the foursome that they are only “dogs I buy” and throws money at them. Probably not the wisest thing to do to four professional killers.
Tuen Wai-lun and Chin Kar-lok
The killing is easy. Walk up the stairs, guns at your side, shoot everyone in slow motion. Like a walk in the park. Don’t even raise a sweat. The setting is a negotiating dinner between Tseung and the man they have been paid to kill. They take out their target with a shot to the head – but Tseung is just standing there – much too tempting – like a turkey that doesn’t realize that it is Christmas day- much to his surprise they kill him too. The killing is easy – getting back to the Mainland is a different matter. With the cops waiting for them back at their hideout, they begin to realize that maybe someone has sold them out – and soon the chances of getting back home look very remote. Appearing also is Annie Man as Tam’s girlfriend, William Ho as the Village Head and Samuel Leung as Worm.
Patrick, Annie Man, Michael and Tuen
The film has potential – the chemistry between the four friends is good and some of the action is entertaining, but it drags badly at times – it is nearly 45 minutes before the first action scene – and becomes increasingly absurd and unbelievable towards the end. The less than intelligent behavior of the crew becomes a bit irritating as well – with everyone trying to kill them and a boat waiting for them, they stop to buy vcds! Of course, I might be tempted to do the same.

My rating for this film: 5.0



DVD Information:

Distributed by Universe

The transfer is fairly bland - dark scenes are quite murky but still overall acceptable for a film like this.

Letterboxed

Cantonese and Mandarin language tracks

There is a trailer for this film and ones for Deathnet.com, Return to Dark and The Story of Prostitutes.

The subtitles are Chinese or English.