Lie Mo Zhe
1983 / 90m - Hong Kong
Action, Drama
Mercenaries from Hong Kong poster


May 22, 2010


It's easy to forget Jing Wong started his career as a Shaw Bros director. Mercenaries from Hong Kong isn't the usual Shaw Bros material though, instead we get some kind of John Woo-like vehicle, with Wong focusing almost exclusively on (gun) fights. It's clear that this isn't really Wong's forte.

Luo Li is a veteran who fought in Vietnam and Cambodia. He and his palls are trying to reintegrate in society, but they've got very little to show for their heroic actions. And so Luo Li ends up working for shady criminals. He is hired to assemble a crew and retrieve a wealthy man from clutches of his abductors.

There are quite a few familiar Shaw Bros faces and there's plenty of action, even so the film never really finds its footing. The action is pretty tame, the blood is fake, and the actors don't feel quite at home when they can't perform their usual martial arts wizardry. It's one of those films that illustrates the problems the Shaw Bros studios were facing back then.