Triad Election (Hak se wui yi wo wai kwai)

Rated NR 92 minutes 2007

Heroically prolific Hong Kong director Johnnie To has made it his mission to bring the gangster film into the 21st century, even while portaging another century's worth of genre baggage on his back. In Triad Election, the sequel to 2005's Election, To locates a new frontier -- the wild west that is the Chinese economy -- and sets up a secession parable that incorporates Hong Kong's tentative relationship with its new ruler, dissent and disillusion within the secretive Triad Society, and the ardent desire of one of its members (smoldering Louis Koo returns as the MBA-wielding, sharp-dressed Jimmy) to go straight and grab his piece of the legit pie. All that, and a hostage's limbs seceding from his torso to be ground into puppy chow! Jimmy's plan to get out by getting back in is the platform for a lot of loaded, roundtable sit-downs and clenched, stagy street fights. To's rangy camera circles its cagey subjects like prey, sometimes drawing in for a close, almost tender framing of his cut-out characters, sometimes yanking back to find them swallowed by the grandeur of urban and rural China; each angle -- and To's take on the plight of the modern gangster -- is inspired.

Film Credits

Director: Johnny To

Writer: Nai-Hoi Yau and Tin-Shing Yip

Producer: Dennis Law and Johnny To

Cast: Louis Koo, Simon Yam, Nick Cheung, Siu-Fai Cheung, Ka Tung Lam, Tian-lin Wang, Ping-Man Tam, Mark Cheng, Yong You and Siu-Pang Chan

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