籠裡雞
The Desperados (1980)


Reviewed by: Brian Thibodeau
Date: 12/07/2005

“Why do they come here?” groans a news anchor after relating the particulars of another heist-gone-wrong and the increase in illiegal immigration from China that likely caused it. Typical “don’t-trust-the-refugees” melodrama exploits the typical Hong Konger’s fear of the uneducated, unclean masses infiltrating their little colony from the north, and the burden they place on the system when they inevitably turn to crime to survive. Such is the case with refugee Kenny, who floats to Hong Kong on an innertube (while a shark attacks to the theme from Jaws!), falls in love with fellow refugee Cecilia and, unable to pay her ungrateful family’s debt to the snakeheads who brought her into the colony, turns to robbery with his cousin and a loose-cannon pal. Ultimately he earns a year in the cooler but no brownie points for smarts as the lure of an even bigger payday lures him right back to the wrong side of the law after Cecilia turns to prostitution and has an abortion. Whew! Not bad, but largely the same old fearmongering about how Hong Kong is already so crowded with the working poor that the immigrants oughta just stay out. Two endings can be found on the Ocean Shores VCD, both of which implicate a supporting character as the hitherto unknown organizer of the climactic robbery, but only one of which, no doubt the one designed to be keep mainland censors happy, shows him being arrested.

Reviewer Score: 5