Movie Review: Drug War

By William Kustiono

Drug War is a Chinese film directed and produced by Johnnie To. The film is not your typical cop versus gangster, guns blazing, fight and revenge movie. It has depth and a deeper message about deceptions two different parties. Johnnie To’s biggest international successes are Breaking News, Election, Election 2, Mad Detective, Exiled, and Drug War. To’s films have appeared in several film festivals located in United States and France.

Drug War depicts a story about the Hong Kong police force and their arrest of drug offenders. Captain Zhang Lei (Honglei Sun) and his partner Yang Xiaobei (Crystal Huang) find small time offenders trying to smuggle drugs inside their body. They were trying to force strip and enema. After the bust, Zhang and Lei find a drug crook and to Zhang’s surprise, this crook turns out to be drug lord Timmy Choi (Louis Koo). After Timmy’s arrest, Zhang and Yang decide to give him an ultimatum: he has to work with the police and help arrest local drug thugs and their suppliers, or face a death penalty. Without further notice, Timmy accepts Zhang’s deal and decides to help them round up the drug cartels. Meanwhile, Zhang is suspicious of Timmy and how he was reluctant to accept his offer. Is he trying to buy some time to escape or helping them willingly to save his own life?

The cops and criminals are constantly trying to outmaneuver each other. In one of the scenes, Zhang goes undercover as a drug lord. He has to be prove his drug lord to another drug cartel’s member by snorting cocaine. Zhang’s drug lord’s appearance and act to deceive the drug cartels and their bosses was perfect.

Although this movie looks like a serious action crime thriller, there are several humorous scenes for the audience to enjoy. Zhang’s undercover mission is to successfully identify the mastermind of the drug cartel. While the cartel members are voting, via walkie-talkie, the next drug lord, one of them is at the port taking a picture of himself, being narcissistic.

Overall, the movie is a non-stop suspense where the cops and the criminals are consistently trying to outsmart each other. The movie slowly builds intensity throughout the show. It seems that To wants the audience to enjoy the suspense and end it with a dramatic and devastating conclusion.

Avatar photo

About AsianInNY is New York’s leader in Asian networking and a multi-cultural entertainment site. AsianInNY has established itself as the premier social and cultural authority for Asians in New York City. AsianInNY maintains the highest standards in providing reliable online content and producing live offline events. AsianInNY seeks to inspire, educate, and connect our community, using a versatile platform that engages our audience via a multi-layered digital presence that showcases the best of New York City. Our pages are updated daily with a rich cultural mix of news, events, interviews, and more. AsianInNY: Connect with Everything Asian!