Monday, April 16, 2012

大追捕 (Nightfall)

Now, this is one review I strongly feel obliged to write. That is, before "Nightfall" ends its presumed short run at our local theatres - it is now into its second week - looking at its low earning power (one of my favourite, "歲月神偷" - "Echoes Of The Rainbow", also disappeared from the big screen after two weeks). It doesn't take much thinking to realise that "Nightfall" isn't a typical film to take your date to, or for a outing with your buddies for some male bonding - okay, perhaps with your buddies, or like me, you basically crave for good acting (now, as we were watching "Money Ball", we only grew more confused why "Brad Pitt" was nominated for Best Actor.). So one good reason was 张家辉 (or Nick Cheung, multiple award Best Actor for "证人"), and he didn't disappoint - not one bit. As a ex-convict who stabs his throat in jail with a pencil to turn mute, perhaps in protest for his innocence's appeals falling on deaf ears, his performance is speechless - not just literally, of course. Then you have Simon Yam (任達華), another Best Actor winner for, of course, "歲月神偷" (I know, most people will be asking: what movie again?), as the dogged "Truth" seeking detective. The action is good, of course (typical of Hong Kong movies in recent years: the "Ip Man" series leading the way), but what really surprised me is how brilliant the plot is, and how it managed to keep this audience in suspense throughout - you don't get much of that in Hollywood blockbusters with the influx of scripts adapted from comics or novels (please don't get me started on print-to-screen).

The Korean cult film "Old Boy" came to mind at times with Nick Cheung's character working out or shadow boxing behind bars, and having been released, leering at women walking on a busy junction like some psychopath. Then, I was reminded of "Confession of Pain"(傷城) with its theme on the importance of family underlying "a psychological cat-and-mouse story."

"Nightfall" doesn't really fall into any particular movie genre, though it is marketed as a thriller, perhaps rightly so. It tries to be everything to please everybody, such is the gravity to bow to commercial environment.

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