films seen
23/23
average score
2.73*
nationality
Hong Kong - 58 years old
status
R.I.P. (1961 - 2020)
more info

Benny Chan is the median of Hong Kong action cinema. He collaborated with all the Hong Kong greats, but never really managed to rise above himself. If you need quality genre filler though, he has some very solid films on offer.

Solid pieces

Raging Fire

Nou Fo
2021 / 126m - Hong Kong
Action, Crime
3.5*/5.0*
Raging Fire poster

Benny Chan's swansong. The man left us way too early, but it's nice to know he went out with a bang. Raging Fire is a vintage Chan production, a Hong Kong procedural with the necessary action scenes to keep the adrenaline pumping. Hong Kong could use a few more films like this, which makes Chan's loss all the more painful.

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Bong is a model detective, but his loyalty to justice gets him into trouble when he is forced to testify against some fellow officers. His report lands them in jail. When years later they finally get out, revenge is on their mind. After some violent attacks, Bong and his team will have to go all out to stop them.

Donnie Yen and Nicolas Tse are both excellent as the leads, the action scenes are well choreographed and impressive, the pacing is on point too. There may be a bit too much filler drama, certainly not a first for this type of film, but there are plenty of action scenes scattered throughout to make up for it. A fine action flick.

Call of Heroes

Ngai Sing
2016 / 120m - Hong Kong
Action
3.5*/5.0*
Call of Heroes poster

The White Storm

Sao Du
2013 / 140m - Hong Kong
Action, Thriller, Crime
3.5*/5.0*
The White Storm poster

Connected

Bo Chi Tung Wah
2008 / 110m - Hong Kong
Action, Thriller, Crime
3.5*/5.0*
Connected poster

Invisible Target

Naam Yi Boon Sik
2007 / 129m - Hong Kong
Action, Thriller, Crime
3.5*/5.0*
Invisible Target poster

Naam Yi Boon Sik (Invisible Target) is what happens when all the stars align for director Benny Chan. While the film still can't quite match Hong Kong's best action cinema, it's more than perfect filler with plenty of sumptuous treats for action fans.

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Chan brought together some interesting young talent to fill in the main roles. Nicholas Tse, Shawn Yue (Shamo) and Jaycee Chan (Jackie's son, amazing in Lee's Adventure and pk.com.cn) form a trio of good guys who are out to capture Wu Jing's band of criminals. This being a Hong Kong action film there is of course some (sub-par) personal drama to fill in the gaps, but for the greater part the action sequences dominate the film.

Naam Yi Boon Sik is a surprisingly violent film. While Benny Chan is known for his action cinema, usually his films tend to be a bit lighter in tone. Here he opts for darker colors, grittier characters and only a select few moments of comic relief. It's a choice that turns out to be surprisingly effective, giving the film a welcome edge over his other work.

From start to finish, the film is littered with various long-winding action sequences. There are some cool fights, some crazy chases (the rooftop chase is amazing) and a healthy selection of glass-shattering explosions. The breaks in between action scenes are few and far between and while the film is a little lengthy (128 minutes is a bit much for a film like this), it never really stalls or becomes boring.

Benny Chan finds the right balance between fun and grit. Naam Yi Boon Sik may well be his best film so to date. While no match for the best Hong Kong action films out there, it's a great diversion should you want a bit of brainless entertainment.

Divergence

Saam Cha Hau
2005 / 101m - Hong Kong
Action, Crime
3.5*/5.0*
Divergence poster

The inoffensive

Shaolin

San Siu Lam Zi
2011 / 131m - Hong Kong
Drama, Action
3.0*/5.0*
Shaolin poster

Rob-B-Hood

Bo Bui Gai Wak
2006 / 136m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action
3.0*/5.0*
Rob-B-Hood poster

New Police Story

Xin Jing Cha Gu Shi
2004 / 123m - Hong Kong
Action, Thriller, Crime
3.0*/5.0*
New Police Story poster

Gen-Y Cops: Metal Mayhem

Tejing Xinrenlei 2
2000 / 120m - Hong Kong
Sci-fi, Action
3.0*/5.0*
Gen-Y Cops: Metal Mayhem poster

Big Bullet

Chung Fung Dui Ji No Foh Gaai Tau
1996 / 91m - Hong Kong
Action, Crime
3.0*/5.0*
Big Bullet poster

Man Wanted

Mong Kok Dik Tin Hung
1995 / 92m - Hong Kong
Action, Crime
3.0*/5.0*
Man Wanted poster

The Magic Crane

Xin Xian He Shen Zhen
1993 / 96m - Hong Kong
Fantasy, Action
3.0*/5.0*
The Magic Crane poster

Worthy but flawed

City under Siege

Chun Sing Gai Bei
2010 / 110m - Hong Kong
Sci-fi, Action, Thriller
2.5*/5.0*
City under Siege poster

Heroic Duo

Shuang Xiong
2003 / 100m - Hong Kong
Thriller
2.5*/5.0*
Heroic Duo poster

Gen-X Cops

Dak Ging San Yan Lui
1999 / 114m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action, Thriller
2.5*/5.0*
Gen-X Cops poster

Son on the Run

Dai Zi Hong LangĀ 
1991 / 91m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action
2.5*/5.0*
Son on the Run poster

Dubious filler

Who Am I?

Ngo Si Seoi
1998 / 108m - Hong Kong
Action
2.0*/5.0*
Who Am I? poster

A Moment of Romance II

Tin Joek Jau Cing II - Zi Tin Coeng Dei Gau
1993 / 87m - Hong Kong
Romance, Action
2.0*/5.0*
A Moment of Romance II poster

What a Hero

Hua! Ying Xiong
1992 / 95m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action
2.0*/5.0*
What a Hero poster

A Moment of Romance

Tian Ruo You Qing
1990 / 87m - Hong Kong
Drama, Romance, Action
2.0*/5.0*
A Moment of Romance poster

Plain forgettable

Meow

Miao Xing Ren
2017 / 109m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Fantasy
1.5*/5.0*
Meow poster

Meow is aimed squarely at kids, but even then it offers very little value. The CG is unacceptable, the acting way over the top and the drama downright annoying. Instead of making a sweet, pleasant and carefree film, the bright and sugary colors can't hide all the kitsch underneath.

Happy Hour

Huan Le Shi Guang
1995 / 101m - Hong Kong
Drama
1.5*/5.0*
Happy Hour poster

The final Benny Chan film I still had to see. And it's not a surprise this was the last one on my list. Happy Hour is anything but happy, it's a dreary Hong Kong courtroom drama that doesn't treat its subject with the proper respect. Unless you're a dedicated completist like I am, this is the type of film you'd want to skip to not damage your trust in a certain director.

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Three friends are out clubbing when they meet Angel, a young and alluring woman. They go to her house, but a series of unfortunate events leads to an accident, which leaves Angel in a coma. When she finally wakes up, she accuses the three of rape. The boys don't know what they're facing, so they find a scammy lawyer who they believe can protect them in court.

The performances are way too exaggerated for a courtroom drama, the plot is crude and the few twists are mostly in bad taste. It's always nice to see Jordan Chan and Ching Wan Lau, but they're not the kind of actors who can carry a film like this. Neither is Benny Chan the best director to helm a film like this. Happy Hour is pretty bad, but at least its runtime was kept close to the 90-minute mark.