Review: THE LONGEST NITE 暗花 (1998) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Review: THE LONGEST NITE 暗花 (1998)

Review: THE LONGEST NITE 暗花 (1998)

The story is set in Macau, where two rival gangs Mr K (Fong Kang) and Mr Lung (Lung Fong) are attempting to negotiate a truce and hoping to join forces before the legendary big boss Mr Hung (Law Jing-Ting) returns. Unfortunately, Mr Lung is also learned that a contract worth $5 million dollars has been taken out on his life and he quickly suspects it's Mr K who is the mastermind. Mr K, of course, denies such claims and he send Sam (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai), a dirty cop who works for him, to investigate the truth. Sam's method for getting information out of any suspects has always resorted to violence, and so far his investigation is fruitless. That is not until the mysterious arrival of a bald stranger named Tony (Lau Ching-Wan) who arrives in town, with a sports bag. Sam suspects Tony is up to something bad but can't seem to figure out the exact truth. As the night goes on, it becomes clear that the whole event isn't just about the assassination of Mr Lung but something more than what has originally expected.

REVIEW: Nihilism doesn't come this both wickedly entertaining and gripping in which Milky Way Productions did it again with THE LONGEST NITE, a murky and brutal crime thriller deftly directed by Patrick Yau.

No doubt the movie made full use of its notorious Category III-rating to create a disturbingly violent and murky piece of work (among unflinching scene involves Sam enthusiastically smashing the fingers of a potential assassin with a bottle of ketchup) that is certainly not for everyone. But genre fans will be delighted that Patrick Yau and screenwriters Szeto Kam and Yau Nai-Hoi knows quite well how to craft a gripping storyline filled with dark moralities. The story is especially the major point here, and it's intriguing to watch all the twists and turns offer here.

But none of them would have work, if not for the sheer credibility of Lau Ching-Wan and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai's engaging performances. Lau is especially great, who made clever use of his deadpan expression and his shaved look to create disturbing aura for his character. Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, as always, a chameleon actor who knows how to blend in with any characters he is given. Here, he's in total control -- at times he is both cocky, frustrating and sadistic -- and no doubt this is among his most complex role he's ever handled.

It's not a perfect movie by any means, with some of the notable flaws come from the script itself. At times the story tends to get confusing with all the shady motivations involved, while the climatic shootout between Lau and Tony in a factory full of mirrors are overly stylised for its own good. Raymond Wong's music, on the other hand, tends to get annoying after a while.

Despite its nihilistic nature, THE LONGEST NITE manages to garner a respectable 6 Hong Kong Film Awards nomination including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for both Lau Ching-Wan and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai. Not surprisingly, the movie went home empty-handed with the more popular BEAST COPS won a majority of the awards.

Blessed with engaging performances from Lau Ching-Wan and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, THE LONGEST NITE is brutal if sometimes confusing crime thriller.

1 comment:

Online Movies said...

This is not a perfect movie by any means but still you can say it good movie. Saw last night and not too bad film. Music is ok types..i don't like very much.