Love, Guns & Glass



Reviewed by YTSL

Although it is neither a science-fiction nor period fantasy piece, this 1995 offering cannot be enjoyed without the viewer being willing to suspend a large amount of disbelief -- and more than once -- when following its proceedings.  There also is a good chance that those who castigate the "Young and Dangerous" series of movies as being Triad recruitment efforts par excellence will look askance at the work's hero being a stylish looking individual who also may well be the nicest Triad boss and some time drug dealer I've ever seen on celluloid (with a bigger heart of gold even than the character played by Michael Wong in "A Touch of Evil" as well as any of the Y&D Goo Wat Jai)!

Simon Yam and Cecilia Yip
If you are willing to overlook and get beyond such -- along with the less than ideal beginning which renders the great bulk of the highly emotional movie into a series of extended flashbacks -- though, LOVE, GUNS & GLASS can work to a greater extent than one might expect as a rather moving melodramatic tale of a man and woman who have individually taken on great burdens and suffered a lot, then find reasons to live and love in the other.  As seems to be his wont, Simon Yam puts a lot into his performance as Yung Siu Wing:  The kind of honorable Triad who is willing to go to jail for 10 years if his men are allowed to go free, AND actually doesn't seek revenge on the person primarily responsible for putting him in prison (someone he thought was a minion, who turned out to be an undercover policeman).  Cecilia Yip is also very good as Lau Yuk Ching, a woman who inherited a factory and large debts upon her father's demise, and makes the not particularly clever decision to get money from loan sharks to keep the business going (and its workers paid and employed).
Simon and Roy Cheung
One of the more interesting facets of LOVE, GUNS & GLASS for this (re)viewer is the definite delineation made between love and lust in the film.  In particular, there is a small -- but key -- scene involving an apparently drunk Yuk Ching and still sober "(Elder) Brother" Siu that was presented and played out in a way that was telling about the moral outlook and thought process of the pair involved, and underlined their being unusual people who indeed are well suited for each other.  For added emphasis, a couple of counter-exemplary individuals exist in the story:  Sister Jade (played by Farini Cheung), the wife who uses her husband's love for their child to get him to sign over control of their finances to her; and Lap, the son of a rich man who brandishes that fact as inducement for Yuk Ching to abandon her responsibilities to others and marry him (How did "Peking Opera Blues"'s Cheung Kwok Keung get reduced to playing small and unsavory roles like this one?).
Simon and Farini Cheung
Loyalty is another virtue extolled -- to what some might consider to be a truly unbelievable degree -- throughout LOVE, GUNS & GLASS.  For a change, Roy Cheung -- whom some people think has a nasty face but I actually think can be rather handsome! -- portrays a righteous Triad named Brother Fai who is Simon Yam's character's unwaveringly loyal lieutenant.  Along with the movie's two stars, he helps give credibility and weight to an offering which otherwise would surely have come across as unacceptably flimsy, overwrought and insincere; and only have two isolated bloody "in your face" gun battles plus one tense William Tell scenario (only with a pistol and bullet, rather than a bow and arrow) for the viewer to look forward to checking out.
 
My rating for the film:  6.