Posted in Fantasia 2015, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Wild City Fantasia 2015 review

Wild-CityWild City / 迷城 / Mai4 Sing4 / Mí Chéng (2015)
Director: Ringo Lam
Screenplay: Ringo Lam
Cast: Louis Koo, Shawn Yue, Tong Liya, Simon Yam

This is a very good action movie as long as you don’t mind seeing cars getting destroyed almost all the time. The story starts when bar owner T-man has to take care of a completely drunk customer, a woman named Yun. He drops her off at his mom’s place but it is soon revealed that various local Hong Kong thugs and Taiwanese killers are after Yun with orders to kill her. T-man, who happens to be an ex-cop and his brother, a taxi driver, end up fighting for their lives to protect Yun. There’s a conspiracy which is gradually revealed over time while flashbacks also reveal bits of the past that add depth and background to characters.

The actual conspiracy is not terribly interesting. That’s all fine because the action set pieces are just amazingly staged with many car chases through the streets of Hong Kong often with many pedestrians around. Knives and guns are used frequently as well as smashing people’s heads into various hard objects like bathroom sinks. It’s violent, bloody and brutal. The second highest ranking member in the Taiwanese group of killers ends up being a worthy villain as the brothers inevitably face off against him. Some CGI is used occasionally and is somewhat obvious to spot but it’s easy to overlook when much of the action stunts are very real. There also some very short and often unnecessary flashbacks with overdone color manipulation but luckily it is not often. Cinematography is good and there are some nice shots of the city as well as a surprisingly picturesque graveyard around a few mountains.

Overall, while nothing stands out about the story, it is competent and enough time is spent on character development, even some of the Taiwanese killers are given their own moment to mourn one of their fallen members. The last confrontation has a dumb moment that I found almost unfathomably but it does little to mar the film. Solid acting performances and exciting action sequences make this film worth a watch for fans of the genre. It has not even been released in Hong Kong yet and I expect it will do well there.

Seen in the theatre at Fantasia 2015

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Author:

Longtime fan of East Asian films. Former "movie reporter" on the music radio show / podcast "Beats From The East" broadcasted on Concordia University's CJLO 1690AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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