Full Alert

Lau Ching Wan and Francis Ng are both fantastic in their respective roles

My views on Full Alert

First things first, I like Full Alert a LOT. The film is not only great but it also helped restore my faith in director Ringo Lam after an awful Hollywood debut with Maximum Risk. After the horrid Maximum Risk, Lam returns to Hong Kong and his film quality increases greatly, as evident in Full Alert.
Full Alert centres around Inspector Pao,played by Lau Ching Wan who is facing the challenge of his career,having to play a game of cat and mouse with a group of dangerous criminals. What starts out as a simple murder case slowly develops into a high-stakes game of cat and mouse, with Inspector Pao traiting closely after mastermind criminal Mak Kwan (Francis Ng)
Full Alert shares the first letter with Lam other masterpiece Full Contact, but the comparsions doesn't end there. Director Ringo Lam sets up another amazing screen duel between actors Lau Ching Wan and Francis Ng like what he did with Chow Yun-fat and Simon Yam in Full Contact. Sure neither one of them are up to the standards of Chow Yun Fat or Simon Yam but the both of them prove that they can hold their own as lead actors.
Francis Ng was particularly fantastic as the compassionate criminal Mak Kwan who has a strange phobia against killing people. Ching Wan was also great as the weary Inpector Pao who also shares the same problem as Mak Kwan's.
The suspence builds right from the intro where the police discovers a dead body and never stops, building an exciting climax between the two characters. I love the car chase sequence in Full Alert which was that best I have seen among Ringo Lam films.
Full Alert is what Hollywood should have seen and not Maximum Risk. Excuted with the similar flair as Lam's other masterpieces,Full Alert is a cinematic odyssey you will not forget easily.

On a similar note,I feel that Full Alert was seriously short-changed at the 97 Hong Kong Film Awards. Sure the film did earn several nominations but only manage to win one award(?). I think it had something to do with the fact that the film was "too-Hollywood", an issue which became the butt of a joke during a sketch play at the Awards. To me,Full Alert was one of the best Hong Kong films I seen after their "golden years"(late eighties to early nineties).

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