First Option (1996)
Not the typical Hong Kong action movie...favors realism over style
13 December 2005
A fair amount of movies from Hong Kong about about the "PTU", or Police Tactical Unit, basically their version of SWAT. But (at least the ones I've seen) like most SWAT movies in Hollywood, they tend to eschew any realism in favor of style.

This is a very interesting exception. Perhaps foreshadowing the burgeoning methamphetime problem, a PTU unit in Hong Kong first must confront a heavily armed gang of drug dealers who have a gigantic load of meth, then a seemingly police trained gang of thieves. And at the same deal, deal with an investigative unit that keeps wanting to join in on the gun fights, despite being hopelessly outclassed.

The action isn't non-stop, but there are at least 3 big gun fights, the finale of which is by far the most impressive. And what's impressive is that in all of the gun fights, actual tactics are used. Not just the hero running in with a pistol in each hand and shooting every bad guy (not that there is anything wrong with that, at least if its Chow Yun Fat). Actual talk about real firearms and military hardware, too. And teamwork.

The acting is interesting. It's not bad, but the lead actor speaks in English all the time (or mostly), while all the others mostly speak Cantonese. I guess because while Asian, the lead is from the US. Since I don't speak Cantonese either, I watched it with English subtitles, and it was weird having subtitles for the English parts in English (which I didn't need).

Also interesting is that it features a couple other American characters, and they can actually act. (Usually it seems like they just pick a random American tourist to play Americans).

The main character also quotes Yoda. Would have been better if he did it in a Yoda voice. But I thought it was amusing.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.

Recently Viewed