Johnny To

Johnny To

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Johnny Hallyday and Johnny To - Johnny Hallyday and Johnny To Sunday 17th May 2009 at Cannes Film Festival Cannes, France

Johnny Hallyday and Johnny To
Siu-fai Cheung and Johnny Hallyday
Johnny Hallyday
Siu-fai Cheung and Johnny Hallyday
Johnny Hallyday
Johnny Hallyday

Mad Detective Review


Weak
Mad Detective? You got it. Officer Bun (Ching Wan Lau) has a reputation, not unlike director Johnny To, for beguiling acts of self-torture to prove that he means business. When Ho (Andy On), his new partner, first meets him, the detective is busy stabbing the hanging corpse of a large pig. A moment later, Ho is asked to zip Bun inside a piece of luggage and toss him down several flights of stairs. By the time Bun goes Picasso on his ear to honor the retiring Chief of Police, you're not surprised by much of anything he does.

18 months later, Ho tracks down the now-retired Bun to help him find a missing policeman that many think was shot by an Indian during a routine stakeout. The missing man, Wong, was last seen with his partner Chi Wai (an intense Lam Ka Tung), a crooked cop with a feral streak. Ho wants to ascertain Bun's most supernatural ability: The detective can see people's inner personalities, what they actually are under their well-worn aesthetics. It doesn't take much for Bun to suspect Chi Wai when he notices the police officer has seven personas, including a fat lard with a penchant for shark's fin soup and an ice-cold businesswoman.

Continue reading: Mad Detective Review

Eye In The Sky Review


Excellent
They say the Hong Kong film industry has lost a lot of steam in recent years, and I tend to agree. Lately it seems that all the movies being released there are either dim-witted comedies about shopping and/or breast implants or by-the-numbers police procedurals with rogue cops using forbidden tactics to go after evil triad bosses. Cue the shoot-out in the floating Chinese restaurant. Yawn.

This sad reality makes Eye in the Sky a really welcome breath of fresh air. Yes, it's a police procedural, but it has none of the usual trappings. We simply follow along as a rough-and-tumble undercover surveillance unit uses a mix of old-fashioned street smarts and modern technology to try to catch a group of brazen jewelry store thieves whose well-planned midday assaults are terrorizing the city.

Continue reading: Eye In The Sky Review

Exiled Review


Very Good
For a moment near the beginning of Johnny To's Exiled, a piece of furniture floats in open air between two assassins, each shooting the piece in a maelstrom of a gunfight. The camera, sturdy and entranced in patented Hong Kong slow-motion, picks up every particle from every gun-blast and every molecule of dust and dirt that is kicked up in the small apartment. There are only four actual gunmen but between the sprays of flying shrapnel, you'd believe there were entire battalions having it out in the dinky apartment.

A stylized battle of this nature should come expected in the pantheon of Johnny To films. The fact that minutes later all four assassins are helping to rebuild and refurnish the apartment may not be expected. As it turns out, the four hitmen, and the target in question, are all old friends. Two of the hitmen have been called to take out the target while two have taken it upon themselves to protect the target. Blaze (Anthony Wong), the alpha-male of the group, lays down his guns but promises the target, his friend Wo (Nick Cheung), that he will have to kill him eventually.

Continue reading: Exiled Review

Triad Election Review


Excellent
As with any decent gangster flick, Johnny To's Triad Election can't give up the ghost of The Godfather. In following the exploits of an up-and-coming boss, more coolly strategic than his predecessors, To has arguably achieved a newfound maturity that has only been hinted at in his hit-and-miss career thus far.

Jimmy Lee (a startling Louis Koo) has just made a business deal with the Mainland China government and is looking to go straight with his model girlfriend, buying a nice house in the swaying greens of the Chinese hills. Taking his name out of Triad contention, he leaves head boss Lok (the staggering Simon Yam) to consider the five main heads under him, none of which seem fit for a crown. Instead of deliberating the least damaging choice, Lok plays the minions against one another in hopes of getting the Triad to elect him again, an act that would break Triad law.

Continue reading: Triad Election Review

Fulltime Killer Review


Excellent
Captured in dizzying dolly shots and featuring massive body counts, bodily fluids a-spraying, enormous guns, and super-slick action sequences, Johnny To's latest gonzo hitmen epic Fulltime Killer is a real thrill.

To and his partner Ka-Fai Wai have constructed a beautiful, energetic take upon the old standard of dueling Asian assassins vying for the position of Number One Killer. The woman who stands between them and the burnout police officer determined to stop them only add more gunpowder to the wild ride.

Continue reading: Fulltime Killer Review

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Johnny To Movies

Mad Detective Movie Review

Mad Detective Movie Review

Mad Detective? You got it. Officer Bun (Ching Wan Lau) has a reputation, not unlike...

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Fulltime Killer Movie Review

Fulltime Killer Movie Review

Captured in dizzying dolly shots and featuring massive body counts, bodily fluids a-spraying, enormous guns,...

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