A cop-turned-bar owner (Louis Koo) befriends a drunken woman at closing hours (Tong Liya) and finds himself pursued by her former lover and the thugs he employs. The chase turns deadly when his deadbeat brother (Shawn Yue) and a suitcase full of cash enters the picture.
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Ringo Lam returns to the director's chair for the first time in 7 years with this frankly underwhelming crime drama. The man who gave us 'City on Fire' and 'Full Contact' has mellowed with age and this latest foray into cops and criminals lacks teeth. Performances are subdued and even the action set pieces feel moderated.
By the time Johnnie To and Michael Mann became household names in the mid-90's, Ringo Lam already had crime films like "City on Fire" and "Full Contact" under his belt. While the director's first feature in almost a decade(!) may not be the dazzling return to form that many hoped for, "Wild City" is enough of a no-frills throwback to the sweat-and-bullets era of Hong Kong cinema that longtime fans should be pleased.
Ringo Lam, the Hong Kong Director of City on Fire, of which, Tarantino famously took large liberties with in his debut, Reservoir Dogs, finally returns with Wild City. The film still has his signature style that influenced modern, non-Hollywood action films--or action that actually tries balancing story/character with plot and set pieces-- but here it's admittedly mismatched in all departments. Rusty he is, perhaps?