Red Fists

Ouch!! That was my main reaction to this almost non-stop action film that has some of the most painful looking falls I have seen in a Hong Kong film. There is a constant barrage of guys getting hit and falling onto hard objects – often far below – and it looks very real and very stressful. Yu Rong Guang, who was also responsible for the choreography of these falls, doesn’t spare himself either. He takes a couple very hard knocks and one in particular was a doozy. Filmed in one shot – he jumps out of a second floor window – falls on to the ledge below – rolls off on to a car far below – bounces off of that and lands finally on the hard pavement. No damage done of course but don't try it at home!
Clearly this film believes that if something is not happening on screen that involves a car racing through the streets, people chasing after others, gunfights full of shattering glass or people getting beaten to a pulp it is not worth filming. Of the ninety minute running time, I would have to estimate that at least seventy minutes of it is devoted to some sort of action – or the lead up to action. There are only a couple of scenes that are presented to establish character – one involving a bonding over eating dog meat – and they are done with as quickly as possible to get back to the good stuff. This was fine with me since there was nothing particularly original about the plot or the characters.
Cops in Hong Kong are attempting to track down some counterfeiters, while at the same time unknown to them the cops in the Mainland are doing the same. In HK the investigation is being headed up by Sharon Kwok who in my opinion has one of the best smiles in HK films – her lip curls in a most attractive way. At any rate it isn’t her curling upper lip that stops crime but instead a lethal trigger finger and some nice kung fu moves. I am not sure if Sharon’s martial arts training went beyond being married to Chin Sui Ho for a few years – but she manages to look fairly good in her fight scenes – with the help no doubt of some imaginative editing.
Going undercover in the Mainland is Yu Rong Guang and he is able to infiltrate the gang and is brought to HK to meet the boss. Sporting longer hair than I recall seeing on his head, Yu gives himself ample opportunities in this film to show his martial arts abilities – very little - if any - of it wire enhanced. Things are looking good for him – though he finds himself in the middle of some internal gang strife as the gangster’s son (Kong Wa) is being egged on by his Lady MacBeth wife to take over the gang.
At any rate, his cover is soon blown when Sharon intrudes and tries to arrest him and send him back to the Mainland. Circumstances of course force the two of them to work together and after a wild car chase, a bicycle chase, a helicopter shootout, some solid fights and a number of shootouts (Mark Houghton and Chi Cheung-hua being two of the baddies) they close in on their target. All in all it is rather unchallenging but fun for what it is – and both Yu and Sharon give solid performances and manage to take a lot of punishment and keep on ticking.

My rating for this film: 6.0