Written by: Ron Cotton on August 14th, 2004
Theatrical Release Date: Hong Kong, January 27th, 2000
Director: Jingle Ma
Writers: Susan Chan, Felix Chong
Cast: Tony Leung, Ekin Cheng, Kelly Chen
DVD released: April 10th, 2001
Approximate running time: 110 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen / 4:3 Full Screen Flip Disc
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Cantonese, Dolby Digital Surround Cantonese, Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Surround English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese
DVD Release: Columbia Tri-Star
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: Left at the alter Macy (Kelly Chen) is a bride that was left by her soon-to-be husband Ito Takahashi who was nowhere to be found. Macy unwillingly leaves to search for Ito in his apartment in Hong Kong. There she meets Yung (Ekin Cheng), a disgruntled Interior Designer who Ito gives a fraudulent check to. Because of this, Yung forcefully joins Macy on the hunt. As they delve into Ito’s Tokyo flat, what at first was seemingly vacant is crawling with Yakuza. It becomes apparent that Yung knows much more than interior design. His superior Kung Fu skills allow them to escape the building. They then escape with the aid of a Japanese Femme Fatale. She takes them to their next piece of the puzzle. There Macy and Yung meet Lin (Tony Leung) who details his private investigation, uncovers that Ito was making love to his employer’s wife. Lin was to produce evidence of his wife’s indiscretion to Ken, the husband and Yakuza mob boss. Macy becomes inconsolable and doesn’t believe the story until she’s given pictures of Ito cheating. Yet, things are not always what they seem, and soon intrigue and action bring police, yakuza, and the CIA to confront each other.
Tokyo Raider in Hong Kong was a huge blockbuster in 2000, little wonder Columbia Tri-Star quickly bought the rights to this title, hoping for this Asian title to shine. An action/comedy formula brought to you from a cinematographer turned director whose worked included Jackie Chan’s The Legend of Drunken Master and Rumble in the Bronx. Expect to see Tony Leung also in upcoming title Hero and Ekin Cheng from the Young and Dangerous series protect Kelly Chen from the Yakuza! The film goes from scene to scene in mostly empty grey and blue industrial buildings. The sound is stark with atmospheric sound effects. When action scenes arise, the music blares with techno with Latin beats. All these syntheses together to create a mood or genre that Jingle Ma should be commended for. The action shots are interacting, switching from fast to slow motion, with wide and close shots with good pacing. Outside of this, however is shots that are overly static and unappealing.
The colors of this film seem to be correct, giving a somewhat flat color scheme during most scenes. The grain in this film is very apparent and seems to be its greatest flaw. The DVD comes with a twenty-two minute featurette. It’s nice to note that the subtitles vary substantiality from the dub. The dub has more modern voice acting involved and can be distracting at the beginning. However the dialog for this action/comedy is very fitting. It’s unfortunate that Columbia Tri-Star didn’t offer even the original trailer on this DVD release. At first, this movie felt like it had a lot going for it, but after a second showing, it’s really nothing but a homogenized American action release. This movie is filled with running gags, heavy pacing, and action cliques. There are some things going for this, however. Tony Leung should be congratulated, for his role on his interesting character. When you take into consideration its highlights and its low points, what you have is an average action film, perfect for renting but not owning.