HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Nightwing
Shadow of the Hawk
Month of Single Frames, A
Last Moment of Clarity
Fukushima 50
Dreams on Fire
Sing as We Go!
Burnt Orange Heresy, The
Craft Legacy, The
Eye of the Storm
Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands
Where No Vultures Fly
Come True
Kagemusha
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
   
 
  Breaking News Extra! Extra!
Year: 2004
Director: Johnnie To
Stars: Richie Ren, Kelly Chen, Nick Cheung, Siu-Fai Cheung, Shui Hung Hui, Suet Lam, Yong You, Haifeng Ding, Haitao Li, Simon Yam, Maggie Siu
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Inspector Cheung (Nick Cheung) is sitting with his police partner in their car, watching for signs of life from a nearby apartment because inside are the notorious criminal Yuen (Richie Ren) and his gang, preparing to embark on a robbery. However, when they do emerge, a couple of uniformed cops approach them for their accomplice's bad driving, and they get into an argument as Cheung sits and sweats. Finally it looks as if the cops are moving away, but suddenly the gangsters shoot them dead and a full scale gunfight erupts - what will the media say?

I ask about the media because that's what the film is preoccupied with, that is, how news is represented by them, and how the police in particular come across. One of director Johnnie To's typically stylish thrillers, it was scripted by Hing-Ka Chan and Tin-Shing Yip and its themes and concerns lifted a fairly standard action suspense piece above the norm. Unfortunately, by the time the ending comes around the action has taken over at the expense of the earlier thoughtfulness, but the film was effective enough nonetheless.

In a bit of showing off, that opening sequence, complete with gunfight, is shot all in one go, a continuous item of camerawork that, once you notice what's happening, is undeniably impressive, especially for an action scene. The gun battle spreads into the rest of Hong Kong with Yuen and his allies chased by Cheung and his backup until they all end up at the apartment block where most of the film takes place. Despite being told not to, Cheung follows the bad guys in, and a siege is what follows when the hordes of cops arrive soon after.

But before that we are offered a dialogue with Commissioner Rebecca Fong (Kelly Chen) and her superior, as he is looking for answers about how to calm down the populace and Fong thinks she has the answer: public relations. Not only that, but have the police filming their own footage to give to the media so they can both be on friendly terms with them and go some way to controlling what is and isn't seen. Naturally, when all the lawmen turn up at the apartment block the TV and newspapers aren't far behind; this is a big story after all.

The media don't have one single representative in Breaking News as they did in say, Die Hard, they're more of a faceless, grasping entity that the police are desperate to control. But the accusing fingers continue to point when doctored footage of an assault on the evildoers is sent out to the television producers, which is swiftly contradicted by footage the gang broadcast to them, so that the fight is both over the airwaves and inside the building. Meanwhile, Cheung struggles to contain the situation as Yuen takes a single parent family hostage while Fong is more worried about how they're going to look on the box. As I say, the need to wrap this up in an exciting package somewhat sabotages a provocative angle on a well worn genre, but perhaps the thrills are all you're watching it for, in which case it should satisfy. Music by Ben Cheung and Chi Wing Chung.

Aka: Daai Si Gin.

[Tartan's Region 2 DVD has a trailer and behind the scenes featurette as extras.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3582 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: