« 1900 — CLASSIC FILM PICK | Main | EUROPA REPORT »

July 26, 2013

DRUG WAR

Drug WarMagnificent. Johnnie To’s gritty police procedural, involving a Tianjin, China police department sting operation, shares William Friedkin’s muscular sense of filming techniques — see “The French Connection.” Car chases move with a palpitating sense of real-life suspense and unpredictability. Shoot-outs have a randomness about them that make the action all the more intense. The storyline comes ripped right from modern headlines.

Police squad leader Zhang Lei (Honglei Sun) captures drug kingpin Tian Ming (Louis Koo) after a meth lab explosion killed several of Tian's relatives and left him with permanent facial scars. Zhang uses his freshly collared perp to assist in introducing him to his underworld connections in order to arrange a massive drug deal. Zhang’s police team are planning a bust that will shut down the entire region’s drug trafficking. Detective Zhang adopts the identity of another local drug lord called "HaHa" — for is annoying habit of using inappropriate laughter to control situations and people. The acting on display is strictly top-drawer. Each member of the film’s estimable cast delivers thoroughly believable performances in an evenly escalating story whose climax and coda hits you like a ton of bricks.

Drugwar

Brutal and full of plot surprises “Drug War” is a type of movie that Hollywood has forgotten how to make. It’s good thing Johnnie To is around to remind them. Let’s just hope Hollywood doesn’t attempt a remake. After all, there’s only one Johnnie To. "Drug War" is the best crime drama of the year, so far.

Not Rated R. 107 mins. (A) (Five Stars - out of five/no halves)

 Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Cole Smithey on Patreon

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Featured Video

SMART NEW MEDIA® Custom Videos

COLE SMITHEY’S MOVIE WEEK

COLE SMITHEY’S CLASSIC CINEMA

Throwback Thursday


Podcast Series