Shu Dan Long Wei
1995 / 101m - Hong Kong
Action, Crime
High Risk poster


November 27, 2009


The downfall of the Hong Kong film industry. Just one or two years before the release of this one they delivered sprawling action spectacles without even breaking a sweat, High Risk in contrast feels dull, cheap and second-rate. Just a vague memory of what good Hong Kong action is all about.

The film is set up like a simple Die Hard clone, with some John Woo elements thrown in for good measure. Take away the backstory and what is left is a hardened criminal taking a giant hotel hostage. It's a bit tougher and edgier than its Western peers, but because the execution isn't really there that doesn't make much of an impact.

Jet Li is criminally underused, Jacky Cheung isn't strong enough to carry the film. At least the action is plentiful, so it never gets truly boring, but with the talent involved the result is simply underwhelming. It's passable filler if you're really starved for some Hong Kong action, but unless you've seen all the classic films of that era there's really very little reason to watch this.