films seen
47
average score
3.03*
nationality
China - 72 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

The man that elevated Hong Kong blockbusters to a higher level and kept on raising the bar, even at a later age. Hark has been at the top for 35 years and even though not all his films are great, he never let commercial cinema get the best of him.

The good stuff

Green Snake

by Hark Tsui
Ching Se
1993 / 98m - Hong Kong
Fantasy, Fantasy
Green Snake poster

Tsui Hark at his best, the film is lush in its visuals and score, is entertaining to the core and wastes no time on unnecessary things. Very likeable and extremely well-made.

Once upon a Time in China

by Hark Tsui
Wong Fei Hung
1991 / 134m - Hong Kong
Fantasy
Once upon a Time in China poster

A prime 90s martial arts classic. A bit longer than usual, time spent on exploring the relationship between the Chinese and foreign invaders/merchants. But don't worry, there's plenty of superb martial arts action, establishing Jet Li as one of the best in the business while fully establishing Hark as a prime action director.

New Dragon Gate Inn

by Raymond Lee, Siu-Tung Ching, Hark Tsui
Sun Lung Moon Hak Chan
1992 / 103m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action
New Dragon Gate Inn poster

One of Hong Kong's 90s martial arts highlights, though it's actually quite light on action. There's a lot of fun to be had with this one, especially once everyone has arrived at the inn. A typical product of Hong Kong's relentless cinema machine, delivering a fine mix of comedy and action.

Triangle

by Ringo Lam, Johnnie To, Hark Tsui
Tie Saam Gok
2007 / 93m - Hong Kong
Action, Crime
Triangle poster

A celebration of Hong Kong crime cinema. Three prominent Hong Kong directors each get a 30-minute segment to tell their part of a story of three incidental thieves, who have to do their utmost best to keep their freshly acquired bounty out of the hands of the police and the Triads. Dark, brooding and stylish, a superb experiment that I wouldn't mind seeing repeated.

Time and Tide

by Hark Tsui
Shun Liu Ni Liu
2000 / 113m - Hong Kong
Action
Time and Tide poster

Don't be mistaken, even though Time and Tide is somewhat atypical for a Hong Kong action film, it's still a pretty pure genre effort.

Once Upon a Time in China II

by Hark Tsui
Wong Fei Hung Ji Yi: Naam Yi Dong Ji Keung
1992 / 113m - Hong Kong
Action
Once Upon a Time in China II poster

Hark Tsui's sequel is every bit as good as the first film. While the first hour divides its time between comedy, drama and action, the second part is a grandiose action spectacle with some of the best martial arts Hong Kong cinema has ever brought forth. When you have Jet Li facing off against Donnie Yen, with Woo-ping Yuen directing the action scenes, magic happens.

Seven Swords

by Hark Tsui
Qi Jian
2005 / 153m - Hong Kong
Action, Adventure
Seven Swords poster

Hark Tsui puts out another sprawling martial arts epic. With a stellar cast, a sizeable budget and a commendable lack of CG, he made a film that is well able to stand the test of time. The action scenes are spectacular, the locations are grand, and the bad guy is a real hoot. Hark takes his time, but the film is never too slow or laggy. Seven Swords is easily one of his best films, and stands proud among the Chinese martial arts epics of the early 00s.

Once Upon a Time in China V

by Hark Tsui
Huang Fei-hung Zhi Wu: Long Cheng Jian Ba
1994 / 101m - Hong Kong
Action
4.0*/5.0*
Once Upon a Time in China V poster

Solid pieces

Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings

by Hark Tsui
Di Renjie Zhi Sidatianwang
2018 / 132m - China
Fantasy, Action, Adventure
3.5*/5.0*
Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings poster

Tsui is back for the third part of the Detective Dee series and that's a good thing. The quality remains high and even though it never attempts to be anything beyond solid entertainment, that's fine with me. Four Heavenly Kings is another lush, fun and amusing action mystery that entertains from start to finish.

Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back

by Hark Tsui
Journey to the West: Demon Chapter
2017 / 109m - China
Comedy, Fantasy, Adventure
3.5*/5.0*
Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back poster

The Taking of Tiger Mountain

by Hark Tsui
Zhì Qu Weihu Shan
2014 / 141m - China
Action, War, Adventure
3.5*/5.0*
The Taking of Tiger Mountain poster

Old man Hark Tsui seems to have finally settled down. Gone are the days of lively martial arts films, snappy comedies and risky (at least for Hong Kong standards) projects. Nowadays Tsui invests his time in epic blockbusters. Not too surprisingly, he's actually quite skilled at making them.

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Like his two previous films, Zhi Qu Weihu Shan (The Taking of Tiger Mountain) was shot in sprawling 3D. Reportedly Tsui is quite capable of handling 3D imagery in his films, it's just that I'm not a very big fan of the whole 3D/live action thing. Instead I settled for the boring yet pleasantly comfortable 2D version, which I believe was the right decision. Even while watching the 2D version it was pretty easy to spot the 3D effects, something that would've bothered me no end if I'd seen the film in 3D. To each his own though, I'm just glad the choice was there.

Zhi Qu Weihu Shan feels like Tsui's answer to Wen Jiang's Let the Bullets Fly. Both films are extremely light-hearted action flicks with an unmistakeable tongue in cheek approach. Tsui's film may not be as balanced and accomplished compared to Jiang's and it's clearly geared at a more forgiving audience, but the link between the two is definitely there.

The plot is pretty convoluted, but the film's premise is actually quite simple. A gang of criminals has its stronghold on top of a snowy mountain, a small but dedicated police force is tasked with breaching the stronghold and capturing the leader. Start with some espionage and people double-crossing each other, add a couple of long-running, high octane action scenes, finish of with a touch of drama and there you go: two hours of shameless entertainment.

Two things stand out. First of all there's Tony Leung Ka-Fai as the lead criminal. His character may be a silly caricature, but Ka-Fai has so much fun playing him that he quickly became one of the funniest villains I've come across the past few years. Then there are the crazy, over the top action sequences that take up a pretty big part of the film. Tsui clearly didn't aim for realism here, leaning heavily on CG (just check the crazy antics of that plane during the finale) to support some outrageous action scenes. If that's not your kind of thing, it's probably best to stay away from this film.

Sadly the parts in between are a little less entertaining. The drama and the espionage bits are decent enough, but they still needlessly slow the film down. Tsui also misses the raw talent to rise above the commercial foundation of the film, failing to bring that little extra which is needed to give a film like this a more lasting impression. Still the action is fun and exciting and while it lasts, it's a wildly entertaining experience. If you're okay with that it's hard to go wrong with this one.

Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon

by Hark Tsui
Di Renjie: Shen Du Long Wang
2013 / 134m - China
Drama, Fantasy, Action, Adventure
3.5*/5.0*
Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon poster

The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate

by Hark Tsui
Long Men Fei Jia
2011 / 122m - China
Action, Adventure
3.5*/5.0*
The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate poster

Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame

by Hark Tsui
Di Renjie: Tong Tian Di Guo
2010 / 119m - China
Fantasy, Action, Mystery, Adventure
3.5*/5.0*
Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame poster

Missing

by Hark Tsui
Sam Hoi Tsam Yan
2008 / 118m - China
Drama, Fantasy, Horror
3.5*/5.0*
Missing poster

Knock Off

by Hark Tsui
1998 / 91m - USA
Action, Thriller, Crime
3.5*/5.0*
Knock Off poster

Love in the Time of Twilight

by Hark Tsui
Hua Yue Jia Qi
1995 / 103m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Romance
3.5*/5.0*
Love in the Time of Twilight poster

The Lovers

by Hark Tsui
Leung Juk
1994 / 107m - Hong Kong
Drama, Romance, Fantasy
3.5*/5.0*
The Lovers poster

Once Upon a Time in China III

by Hark Tsui
Wong Fei Hung Ji Saam: Si Wong Jaang Ba
1993 / 109m - Hong Kong
Action, Adventure
3.5*/5.0*
Once Upon a Time in China III poster

The Raid

by Siu-Tung Ching, Hark Tsui
Cai Shu Zhi Heng Sao Qian Jun
1991 / 100m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action, Adventure
3.5*/5.0*
The Raid poster

Swordsman

by Siu-Tung Ching, King Hu, Raymond Lee, Hark Tsui, Ann Hui, Yeung-Wah Kam
Xiaoao Jiang Hu
1990 / 120m - Hong Kong
Action
3.5*/5.0*
Swordsman poster

A Better Tomorrow III

by Hark Tsui
Ying Hung Boon Sik III Jik Yeung Ji Gor
1989 / 105m - Hong Kong
Action, War
3.5*/5.0*
A Better Tomorrow III poster

Peking Opera Blues

by Hark Tsui
Do Ma Daan
1986 / 104m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action
3.5*/5.0*
Peking Opera Blues poster

Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain

by Hark Tsui
Xin Shu Shan Jian Ke
1983 / 95m - Hong Kong
Fantasy, Action, Horror, Adventure
3.5*/5.0*
Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain poster

All the Wrong Clues

by Hark Tsui
Gui Ma Zhi Duo Xing
1981 / 94m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Crime
3.5*/5.0*
All the Wrong Clues poster

The Butterfly Murders

by Hark Tsui
Die Bian
1979 / 88m - Hong Kong
Action, Horror, Mystery
3.5*/5.0*
The Butterfly Murders poster

The inoffensive

The Battle at Lake Changjin

by Kaige Chen, Dante Lam, Hark Tsui
Chang Jin Hu
2021 / 176m - China
Action, War
3.0*/5.0*
The Battle at Lake Changjin poster

So, China found out that people love a good war flick. In recent years, there's been a notable rise of blockbuster war films, with big-name directors tied to them. The Battle of Lake Changing did even better and tied no less than three of the biggest directors in China to its production, just to manage its scope.

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The plot isn't all that interesting, except that for Westerners it might be somewhat novel to see the US army as the bad guys, whereas The Chinese soldiers are the heroes. You basically get three battles round and about Lake Changing, highlighting the bravery, perseverance and comradery of the Chinese army.

You can't escape propaganda in a film like this, and if that triggers you, it's probably best to ignore this film altogether. If on the other hand you just see good guys smashing up bad guys, the film certainly delivers in spades. The scenes with the tank in the little village are superb, the rest of the action is on point too, but three hours is a little much. It's not a great film, certainly not up to the level of the names attached, but I had fun with it.

All about Women

by Hark Tsui
Nüren Bu Huai
2008 / 120m - China
Comedy, Romance
3.0*/5.0*
All about Women poster

1:99 Shorts

by Fruit Chan, Teddy Chan, Stephen Chow, Wai-Keung Lau, Joe Ma, Alan Mak, Johnnie To, Brian Tse, Hark Tsui, Ka-Fai Wai, Mabel Cheung, Alex Law, Dante Lam, Adam Wong, Peter Ho-Sun Chan, Gordon Chan
2003 / 70m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Drama, Animation
3.0*/5.0*
1:99 Shorts poster

Commissioned anthology that was made to lift the spirit of Hong Kong during the SARS epidemic. The who's who of Hong Kong cinema participated, but the result is a little uneven. Not too surprising considering the exterior motives behind this anthology, and there are a couple of worthwhile entries, but overall it's probably best to lower your expectations when watching this.

Shanghai Blues

by Hark Tsui
Shang Hai Zhi Yen
1984 / 103m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Romance
3.0*/5.0*
Shanghai Blues poster

Dangerous Encounters of the First Kind

by Hark Tsui
Di Yi Lei Xing Wei Xian
1980 / 95m - Hong Kong
Action, Thriller, Crime
3.0*/5.0*
Dangerous Encounters of the First Kind poster

We're Going to Eat You

by Hark Tsui
Di Yu Wu Men
1980 / 90m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action, Adventure
3.0*/5.0*
We're Going to Eat You poster

Worthy but flawed

Water Gate Bridge

by Hark Tsui, Kaige Chen, Dante Lam
Chang Jin Hu Zhi Shui Men Qiao
2022 / 153m - China
Action, War
2.5*/5.0*
Water Gate Bridge poster

More Chinese war propaganda. The Battle at Lake Changjin must've been quite the success, or this endeavor was simply so huge that they figured a second film would be necessary to recoup the effort. If you're looking for 150 minutes of action and sentimentality, Hark, Lam and Chen have you covered.

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The plot is basic, we get another battlefield where the Chinese soldiers are allowed to show their bravery, their commitment and their selflessness. This time they're monitoring a bridge that is right on the escape route of the American troops. A strategic location that will form the center of another heated battle.

The action is pretty spectacular, but it does get quite messy, and the film doesn't really let up. And when it does stop, it's only to make room for some sentimental drama. It's a shame, as these directors are capable of making way better films. Let's just hope they're not turning this into a trilogy.

The Legend of Zu

by Hark Tsui
Shu Shan Zheng Zhuan
2001 / 104m - Hong Kong
Fantasy, Action
2.5*/5.0*
The Legend of Zu poster

Double Team

by Hark Tsui
1997 / 93m - USA
Comedy, Sci-fi, Action, Thriller
2.5*/5.0*
Double Team poster

Twin Dragons

by Ringo Lam, Hark Tsui
Shuang Long Hui
1992 / 104m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action
2.5*/5.0*
Twin Dragons poster

The Banquet

by Alfred Cheung, Tung Cho 'Joe' Cheung, Clifton Ko, Hark Tsui
Haomen Yeyan
1991 / 97m - Hong Kong
Comedy
2.5*/5.0*
The Banquet poster

Aces Go Places III: Our Man from Bond Street

by Hark Tsui
Zuijia Paidang Zhi Nuhuang Miling
1984 / 81m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action
2.5*/5.0*
Aces Go Places III: Our Man from Bond Street poster

Dubious filler

Tristar

by Hark Tsui
Da San Yuan
1996 / 106m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Romance
2.0*/5.0*
Tristar poster

The Blade

by Hark Tsui
Dao
1995 / 105m - Hong Kong
Drama, Action
2.0*/5.0*
The Blade poster

The Chinese Feast

by Hark Tsui
Jin Yu Man Tang
1995 / 100m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Romance
2.0*/5.0*
The Chinese Feast poster

I Love Maria

by David Chung, Hark Tsui
Tie Jia Wu Di Ma Li A
1988 / 96m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Sci-fi
2.0*/5.0*
I Love Maria poster

Working Class

by Hark Tsui
Da Gung Wong Dai
1985 / 98m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Drama, Romance
2.0*/5.0*
Working Class poster

Plain forgettable

King Of Chess

by Ho Yim, Hark Tsui
Kei Wong
1991 / 109m - Hong Kong
Drama
1.5*/5.0*
King Of Chess poster

Big nopes

Black Mask 2: City of Masks

by Hark Tsui
Hak Hap 2
2002 / 102m - Hong Kong
Sci-fi, Action
1.0*/5.0*
Black Mask 2: City of Masks poster

The Master

by Hark Tsui
Huang Fei Hong Jiu Er Zhi Long Xing Tian Xia
1989 / 88m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action, Crime
1.0*/5.0*
The Master poster

The Big Heat

by Yeung-Wah Kam, Johnnie To, Hark Tsui
Seng Fat Dak Ging
1988 / 98m - Hong Kong
Action, Thriller, Crime
1.0*/5.0*
The Big Heat poster