The good stuff
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.
Ringo Lam trying to relive his former glory days. A rather typical film from an oldskool director who isn't quite with the times anymore. There are some decent action scenes and the drama is above average for a Hong Kong action film, but overall it lacks panache and it fails to stand out from the rest. Not bad, not great.
Worthy but flawed
Ringo Lam's first feature film. Like many other Hong Kong directors, Lam started out as a somewhat generic cog in the machine. Esprit d'amour is a rather typical mix of horror, comedy and romance that never quite succeeds. The pacing is alright though and it's an easy watch, it's just not that memorable.
A rather basic action film from Ringo Lam. Like most of his films, it's a tad grittier than its contemporaries, but also lacking the joy and creativity that makes Hong Kong action so much fun to watch. With a headliner like Sammo Hung, this film should've been way more entertaining than it turned out to be.
There is too much focus on the drama, especially for a film where the performances are poor and the plot is derivative. Touch and Go is a run-of-the-mill action flick, what's the point on spending so much time on characters that never come to life anyway. A lighter tone and a couple more action scenes would've gone a long way to make this better.
It's not the first time that I felt this way about one of Lam's films, so people who are fan of his work are almost guaranteed to get something out of it. The few action scenes that are present are pretty solid, sporting some impressive practical stunt work, but it just wasn't enough to save the film for me.
A very typical Lam film. Ten minutes of censored material, more gruesome than most of its Hong Kong counterparts and set up as a social commentary. But the direction is pretty poor and the film lacks true impact. Lam tried his whole career to balance drama and action but never really found a way to do it well.
An old Ringo Lam comedy. Clearly a training film for Lam. You won't recognize much of his typical style, there are no real crime elements and the grittiness is almost completely absent. It's a typical 80s Hong Kong comedy, not great but passable and somewhat entertaining. Hard to recommend, unless you're a completist.
A pretty tame and lifeless police thriller. The international elements add very little, Lam's direction is uninspired and functional and the story fails to engage. I've seen a million of these already and Undeclared War seems unwilling to add anything meaningful to the genre. It's simple filler, but even by that standard it's not very good.
Extremely cheesy and third-grade action flick. Ringo Lam takes his prison drama outside of Hong Kong, but fails to make it enticing. The acting is atrocious, the plot is laughable and the attempts at make it a little more poetic are simply painful. The action is dull too, which makes you wonder why they even bothered with this at all.
Horrible 90s action flick. Ringo Lam's first try in America is pretty depressing. The action scenes are pretty lame, the actors are eye-watering bad, the film looks at least 10 years older than it should and the plot is a complete waste of time. The entire film is in fact, best to avoid this one.