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FilmsAsia: Asian film reviews
Soh Yun-Huei
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One League of Social Consciousness
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   Tokyo Raiders  



 

Tokyo Raiders

Reviewed by Soh Yun-Huei

Chinese Title: Dong jing gong
Director: Jingle Ma
Writing Credits: Susan Chan, Felix Chong
Cast: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Ekin Cheng
Genre: Action
Country: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese
Year released: 2000
Runtime: 118 min
Rating: *½ (out of four stars)

Tokyo Raiders...set in Japan and Hong Kong, is what could be considered a romantic action drama mix...starring Ekin Cheng, Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Kelly Chen as the three leads...the story? Kelly's character, Macy, is supposed to get married to Takahara, a Japanese, but he fails to turn up. Hence, Macy decides to fly to Japan to seek him out...once there, she is entangled into a web of deceit and lies, aided by Ekin Cheng and Tony Leung's characters...nobody is who they seem to be...where is Takahara, and why is everyone after Macy?....

Well, I have to say that for once I was pleasantly surprised by a Hong Kong production...the movie packs a rocking soundtrack, and the cinematography is pretty good too...the set pieces all hold up quite well, and I must say that no one choreographs action sequences as well as Hong Kong-ers do...all the fight sequences well pretty well done, but the only complaint is that there were some pretty blatant rip-offs from other movies (The Avengers and The Matrix come to mind). Also, I never thought I would say this, but there really was one too many editing tricks in the movie...the director sorta OD'ed on slow motion shots, jump cuts, quick edits etc...some visual coherence was lost at times...

And speaking of coherence, the plot didn't really do much for me...the script seemed intent on throwing every twist and turn they could find into the film, and in the end, I couldn't even really understand the plot entirely...however, all the main characters (perhaps excluding Ekin Cheng) put up pretty credible performances, especially Tony Leung...he really deserves to be the highest paid male actor in Hong Kong (and STILL compared to Hollywood, he is getting peanuts). Kelly Chen struts her stuff with the latest fashions from Japan, and those interested in Japanese girls (or guys) can get an eyeful in the film. The show definitely has its funny moments and is pretty adrenalin packed at times, though it sorely needs to have its running time pared down.. it seemed just a little too long...

In conclusion, I would recommend this show if you simply want to be entertained during the festive season (a fluff movie, if you will)...and with movie rates being further reduced during the weekdays, there is no reason why not to catch this show if you are into watching a Chinese film...according to a few of my friends, this show is supposedly better than AD2000.. but of course, I must say caveat emptor...my guess is that most people will enjoy this show provided they don't try to think too hard about the plot.