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Chasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch

Chui Lung II
2019 / 101m - Hong Kong
Action, Crime
Chasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch poster

A very solid sequel that shuffles things around (with an entirely new cast for one), but offers the same thrills as the first film. In other words, expect undercover police work and tight action scenes. Koo, Yam and Leung are on a roll here, the film looks slick and the pacing is perfect. Not a future classic, but extremely entertaining.

A Nail Clipper Romance

Zhi Jia Dao Ren Mo
2017 / 97m - Hong Kong
Romance, Fantasy
A Nail Clipper Romance poster

Quirky, sweet and modern romance with subverted fantasy touches. A Nail Clipper Romance is a film that's going to lose a lot of people with its goofy premise, for me it's a crucial element in the success of this film. I've seen quite a few romances already, Kwan's off-kilter approach to the genre feels like a breath of fresh air.

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Central to the story stands Emily, a girl who believes she's part of a secret tribe who survive by eating nail clippers. When she meets Sean, a surfer who just got out of a painful break-up, she opens up to him and though Sean is hesitant at first, he decides to simply believe her and make the best of their relationship. It's an odd premise, not at all what you'd call realistic, but it's actually quite perfect for Kwan's romantic setup.

Two agreeable leads, some very nice visual touches, a beautiful setting (Honolulu) and a story that intrigues. The soundtrack is a bit disappointing, and the film could've been just that little dreamier overall, but Kwan delivered something very sweet and memorable, it saddens me to think this film will probably never get the respect it deserves.

Chasing the Dragon

Chui Lung
2017 / 128m - Hong Kong
Action, Crime
Chasing the Dragon poster

The story goes that Jing Wong went to Canada to convince Donnie Yen personally (and got what he wanted). Wong will never be the greatest director alive, but it's little anecdotes like these that show he has a heart for cinema. Together with Jason Kwan, Wong delivers a pretty fine crime flick.

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This retro drug setup was made with a healthy budget and it shows. The cinematography is slick, the action scenes look pretty good and there's no lack of talent in front of the camera either. With actors like Andy Lau (he simply doesn't age) and Donnie Yen fronting this film, you can rest assured that there's no lack of charm.

It's also nice to see Kowloon again, even if it's just a CG version of the infamous "city". It's such an amazing place that wasn't used nearly enough in its time. The only thing this film lacks is real highlights, apart from that it's an entertaining and slick production that does justice to its genre roots.