Police Tactical Unit – a crack squad of Hong Kong officers who find themselves embroiled in gangland power-playing after an old colleague of theirs, Sergeant Lo (Lam Suet), manages to lose his gun.
In the spirit of a battle being lost for the want of a horseshoe nail, Lo’s gun mishap spirals into increasingly greater farce as a mob boss demands a high price for its return and Lo and his pals in the PTU try to get back the firearm while keeping one step ahead of a second set of investigators who believe Lo is implicated in the death of a mobster. —Asian Media Wiki
Following his directorial debut with the 1980 period martial arts fantasy The Enigmatic Case, To’s career came to something of an apex in the late 1980s thanks to such memorable action films as The Big Heat and tender, personal dramas like All About Ah-Long (the latter of which landed star Chow Yun-Fat a Best Actor award at the 1990 Hong Kong Film Awards). After taking the helm for such memorable action films as The Heroic Trio and directing Stephen Chow in such films as Justice, My Foot and Mad Monk in the early ‘90s, To moved into producing with the creation of independent film company Milky Way Films, a company which yielded such popular Hong Kong action efforts as Nai-hoi Yau’s The Longest Nite and Expect the Unexpected. Though To’s production company was indeed a success, his career behind the camera was in need of some rejuvenation, an issue which he readily addressed with the release of his highly praised 1999 crime drama The Mission.
Utilizing convention as a springboard… read more
Hong Kong stripped of all but cops and criminals, who are so busy with internal conflicts it's a wonder they ever find the time to fight each other. City streets lit like a noirish interrogation room, disturbingly dark save for some too-bright bulb blinding those under its scrutinizing glare. That damn score is a distraction but my God, this is one of the most perfectly ordered films I've ever seen.
The subtitle on this film is 'Into the Perilous Night' and the movie certainly lives up to its title. "PTU" moves at its own pace and at times the plot can seem almost incidental. It's in the last 10 minutes that Johnnie To pulls all these disparate strands together and delivers a memorable slow motion shoot-out that would please Sam Peckinpah. The one thing that holds the film back is the soundtrack comprised of ill-fitting pop rock and guitar noodling. "PTU" is another essential Johnnie To crime drama but not a recommended starting point for the uninitiated.