Written & directed by: Riley Yip
Starring: Eric Tsang, Nicholas Tse, Shu Qi, Jo Kuk, Michael Chan & Sandra Ng
I'm really starting to like Hong Kong movies. Although for the most part there is a lot of fluff bordering on crap, there are some real gems in there. "Metade Fumaca" apparently means 'half-smoked', a reference to the cigarette Eric Tsang's character carries with him throughout the movie - and has apparently been carrying it for 30 years.
Mountain Leopard (Eric Tsang from Infernal Affairs) says that he is a triad boss who has spent the last 30 years living in Brazil. According to him, he has returned to Hong Kong to kill Nine Dragons (Michael Chan), the gang rival who stole the woman (Shu Qi) whom Mountain Leopard loved.
Upon arrival, he encounters street hoodlum Smokey (Nicholas Tse,) who shows a strange kind of honour as he cuts off the hand of a thug who has harassed a prostitute. Although the child of a prostitute who cannot remember who Smokey's father is, Smokey appears to be an oddly good kid - albeit he agrees to help Mountain Leopard track down and kill Nine Dragons in exchange for cash.
Smokey introduces present day underworld Hong Kong to a bemused Mountain Leopard, who has clearly been out of the game too long. The two begin a search for Nine Dragons, during which they develop a relationship which is part friendship and part like father and son.
The movie shows quite a different side of Hong Kong to the one I have seen. All filmed around the Kowloon side in Mongkok and surrounding areas, the neon and darkness and the city look quite amazing.
Both Mountain Leopard and Smokey are fundamentally kind people and you see it in the way Smokey treats his prostitute mother and his prostitute girlfriend, Dee Dee. Every day Smokey buys dinner for his mother at a street stall and sits beside her at Portland Street as she struggles to remember who Smokey's father is.
There is chemistry between Eric Tsang and Nicholas Tse, who I really think is a great actor despite his bad press. Towards the end when you see Eric Tsang's character disintegrate; he is so convincing and amazing, and it's quite tragic. The movie is really about the two men, so the women in a sense are merely peripheral characters. I would have liked to have seen more of Smokey's interactions with his crush - a lovely policewoman played by Kelly Chen who arrested him once in the past.
Anyway I recommend this movie. It's odd, unexpected and quite sweet, and Nicholas Tse's performance is very good.
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