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UKScreen Rating:

Election – Review

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Every two years, the Wo Shing Triad holds an election for a new chairman.
This time round, the two candidates are the business-like Lok and the sadistic Big D.
We’re dealing with gangsters here, so it’s not surprising that the campaigning gets a bit violent – and the aftermath is even worse.
Most of the elders – or uncles – back Lok for the leadership, but Big D isn’t having any of it.
Lok can’t take the reigns until he receives an intricately carved Baton, the physical manifestation of his power.
Big D stops the outgoing chairman handing it over – and soon, full gang warfare is going on within the Triad.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

Considering we have rival factions of a ruthless gang, fighting each other for control of the Triad, this film isn’t as exciting as you’d think.
The story doesn’t seem to be strong enough – how excited can we get about a wood-carving?
There seem to be rather too many characters, which makes what plot there is rather tangled.
There’s rather more talking than action, and you don’t really get to know or care about most of the protagonists. By virtue of the fact that most of them are unpleasant and sadistic criminals, it’s hard to sympathise with many of them anyway, and they don’t have the cheeky dark charm of Tarantino’s gangsters.
The photography is interesting – high contrast, stylistically spotlit, Hong Kong’s nocturnal underbelly – but it doesn’t say much for how engaging a film is if the highest praise you can offer is for the cinematography.

Opens nationwide 9th June 2006

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