Abandoning his life as a judo master, Sveto Bo (Louis Koo) opens a nightclub, where he tries to replace his old passion with a thirst for alcohol and gambling. But when a new judo fighter (Aaron Kwok) arrives to challenge him and a former rival comes out of the woodwork, it’s time for the old champion to brush up on his skills. Turning his nightclub into an arena, Sveto Bo takes on his opponents one by one.
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
It's hard to put into words how much joy this movie brings to your life. To has this magic touch of creating incredible sequences out of thin air. Funny, warm, with real human beings for characters. It's a never ending cascade of charm.
Are there two or three To's? Is there a quantifiable To? In one arena, the To of Breaking News and Election, in another the To of Romancing in Thin Air and Running on Karma, and in yet another the To of Sparrow and Throw Down. Are they really all that different? This is To's closest film to Sparrow, a jazzy emotion piece and a song of those who live in the city. There is plot (very scant), but primarily there are people, a sense of past and present that is alive and pulsating (something so simple yet something most never achieve).
The "conversation scene" (and the subsequent brawl) in which the three main characters talk with different people is probably the funniest and one of the most visually exciting things I have seen in the past 10 years in cinema.