Starring: Louis Koo, Sun Honglei, Huang Yi, Li Jing
Directed by: Johnnie To
Run Time:105 mins
Genre: Crime/ Thriller/ Action
Opens August 23rd
By Lisa Minzey of The Reel Critic.com
Hey Phoenix Film Fans! Opening this week at FilmBar is the gritty crime thriller “Drug Wars” from Hong Kong director Johnnie To. Considered a master of crime/ thriller films in his homeland, will American audiences embrace the unusual style of this emerging director? Read on to find out.
China is governed by its own way of life, philosophy and values, so if you're caught manufacturing drugs, its an automatic death sentence, no questions asked. When drug producer Timmy Choi (Louis Koo) is caught with quite a bit of meth under his belt, he is coerced into helping Captain Zhang (Sun Honglei) uncover a larger drug ring or face sudden execution. Choi has only 72 hours to prove himself to Captain Zhang; can he do it or will it be sudden death for him?
What’s so unique about foreign films is the difference between their context and ours in terms of visual material. With Asian cinema, generally the context is slightly more raw, real and thrown in the viewers face for added shock value. What was interesting about this film is that the crime context that they portray in the film although we experience the similarities in the context the filmmaker does with a tongue- and cheek approach where it is humorous and disturbing all at once. This film doesn’t take itself too seriously, but the element of drama, grit and gore are heavy hitters in this rough drama. If you’re a fan of Asian cinema, check out “Drug Wars” when it opens at Film Bar starting Friday August 23, 2013.