Sunday, October 19, 2003

PTU (2003)

Has a terrific opening and a terrific climax, but in between it falls lockstep-style into one of those overwritten Hong Kong crime-story plots where there's about twelve characters and three plot threads too many. At 85 minutes, it seems both abbreviated and occasionally interminable (the scene where the PTU cops search the old building just goes on forever). Granted, the film is more about cool than anything, but there's only so far you can stretch these things. Note of interest: This is the first time a Johnny To film has shown up at the NYFF, which means that in the 2010 festival we might see a Takashi Miike film. Unexpected Echoes Dept.: The casting of Simon Yam brought back memories of Dr. Lamb, a film that put forth an argument against the brutality of HK policeman; having that reverberating in my mind made the uncritical depictions of sadistic police-issue violence offered here seem kind of distasteful.

Grade: C+


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