Wednesday, October 19, 2011

“LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE” 奪命金 MOVIE REVIEW. Film Director JOHNNIE TO returns in Top Form.


“LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE” is one taut financial thriller.

It hits home a gritty truth that the Hong Kong populace is driven by competitive greed and obsessive wealth.

This one throws you into the murky depths of reality where you get to swim with the money sharks.

It’s a matter of life and death and expounds man’s ever going pursuit of a quick fix to get rich, and what’d have happened when the best of plans go awry.

Just be warned, do not touch what’s been predestined not to be yours.

Because theft is a seedy word and comes with a hefty price tag.

Money is everything.

And people are willing to do anything, everything,

and even die for it.

Money has, and always will be, the root of all evils.

“LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE” is not crafted as a shoot-them-up action film.

It preys, rather, on the human psychology on greed. Nobody can be satisfied with just having enough. 

DENISE HO is Teresa who’s listless and unhappy in her demanding job as a financial analyst. She is forced to sell high risk securities to her customers in order to achieve her sales target. Far from doing well, her latent insecurities are eating her and driving her up against the wall.

LAU CHING WAN plays a blinking and bumbling small time gangster called PANTHER. He’s a loyalist to his sworn brothers and will stick by them through thick and thin.  He learns his way into the futures index to reap easy money in order to post bail for his irresponsible, lawless buddy. Some buddy, right.

RICHIE REN is Cheung Ching Fong – a straight, upright and honest police inspector who smells trouble big time when his materialistic wife fights with him on a down payment to purchase a luxury sea-facing condo that they both cannot afford.

The path of these three unlikely characters careens and intertwines when a boastful middle-aged loan shark is murdered for his bag of 5 million dollars, putting everybody in a tight spot.

This is where the protagonists are forced to examine the inner self, about the dangers that come with ill-gotten wealth.

Master of the craft JOHNNIE TO offers a nicely caliberated mix of intellectual dread and visceral shock in this suspenseful thriller that will keep you enthralled till the last frames where the credits roll.

Let’s hear from the man himself when he says “This is a turbulent world and in order to survive, people have no choice but to play the game.”

 A splendid script and brilliant performances by LAU CHING WAN and DENISE HO.

It’s a tour de force that’s truly worth a visit.

Go catch it.

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