Review: BLACK RANSOM 撕票風雲 (2010) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Review: BLACK RANSOM 撕票風雲 (2010)

Review: BLACK RANSOM 撕票風雲 (2010)

Mann (Simon Yam) is a veteran cop who once a top marksman but now has fallen on tough times since the death of his wife at the hands of the triads. He is currently leading a small team, consisting of Spring (Vincent Wong) and tough-guy fighter Rocky (Xing Yu) in which they are assigned to investigate a kidnapping case of a notorious triad member Tang Qing (Parkman Wong). Aided by their new superintendent Koo (Fala Chen), they soon learn that the mastermind behind the kidnapping involved an ex-cop named Sam (Michael Miu). Apparently, he holds ransom against Tang Qing has something to do with his dark past. To make things complicated, Sam has also suffered a dilemma between two girls of his love: his current partner-in-crime, Can (Qu Ying) and his ex, Eva (Liu Yang). Added to the complication is Ice (Kenny Wong), a triad boss who is later revealed for responsible of causing Sam's brother died in a hit-and-run accident.

REVIEW: There are two words best described for writer/producer Wong Jing and director Keung Kwok-Man's latest cop thriller, BLACK RANSOM: painfully routine. Pretty much like their 2007's BULLET AND BRAIN, the movie is both awfully generic and awkwardly offbeat with all those annoying Wong Jing's comedy trademark thrown into the mix.

It's a huge shame that given an impressive cast headlined by veterans Simon Yam and Michael Miu, Wong Jing and Keung Kwok-Man doesn't bother to make an effort to craft an effective piece of entertainment. Sure, there are moment of worthwhile action set-piece, notably in the middle part involving a daylight crossfire between the cops and the bad guys in the street (except for the CGI bullet-time effect that is particularly a turn-off here). Unfortunately, the action is surprisingly kept to a minimum and instead wasting too many times setting a lot of build-up and unnecessary subplots that gradually dragged the movie down. It's easy to say that just about everything in this movie is as lazy as it goes. Not even the equally lazy finale involving a supposedly tense face-off between Xing Yu and Andy On in a duel that is overly-choreographed with laughable wireworks.

As for the cast, Simon Yam goes subdued here and doesn't showcase much of his acting prowess to channel into an effective role. Instead, his Zen-like character in which he is able to read the mind of criminals is borderline laughable. Michael Miu fares slightly better here, but too bad the filmmakers doesn't make full use of a would-be memorable confrontation between him and Simon Yam, which could have made the movie all the more compelling effort. Likewise, as in a movie produced by Wong Jing, the girls here are easy on the eyes particularly for Fala Chen and Liu Yang while there are no surprise these girls are extremely underused other than focusing on their mere beauty.

BLACK RANSOM is a huge, missed opportunity that could have been better. What a waste of effort.

An awfully generic yet laughable cop thriller that is all build-up but little payoff while undermined seasoned veterans of Simon Yam and Michael Miu.

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