ѲP (1989)
Wild Search

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 10/30/2010

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 11/01/2007
Summary: "not your typical Hong Kong action movie"

Wild Search is not your typical Hong Kong action movie; this is a human interest drama that has Chow Yun-Fat falling for a nice girl, played by Cherie Chung Cho-Hung, who finds herself, her father, and her young niece, played by Chan Cheuk-Yan, in a world of trouble. Direction by Ringo Lam Ling-Tung, who also produced, is up to his customary high standard as he is working from a sharp screenplay by the always interesting Nam Yin. The movie features another kooky killer played to the extreme by the always compelling Roy Cheung Yiu-Yeung. Industry veteran Ku Feng actually steals the movie in his role of the uncompromising father/grandfather.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: steve_cole1
Date: 07/27/2007
Summary: Only Really for CYF fans

Average Hong Kong film with some good action sequences CYF is good but there is alot of better CYF films to watch

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/27/2005

During a raid on some gunrunners, cop Chow and his buddies shoot up almost everyone in the place except for a little girl, who then goes to live with her aunt (Chung). Knowing that the gang may target the girl, Chow begins to protect both her and the aunt. As with most movies of this type, Chow and Chung begin developing feelings for each other, but can't consummate the relationship -- Chung still has ties to her ex-husband and Chow is trying to shake the demons from the past.

Well, well, well... it's the same "protector who falls in love with the protected" plot that we've all seen many times before. So it all boils down to a question of how well the film is done. Not suprisingly, under the direction of Ringo Lam, Wild Search is done well. It's not a masterpiece by any means, but it is a solid cop action/romance. Both Chow and Chung are good in their roles (Chow, as is most always the case, does manage to look better than many of his co-stars and is quite excellent as the tortured cop) and have nice chemistry together, though not as developed as in their next project together, John Woo's great crime caper Once a Thief.

As would also be expected from Lam, Wild Search also sports some excellent action sequences, even though they do fall prey to melodramatics at times, which undercuts a lot of the built-up tension. The film's main drawback is a lack of focus. I felt it spent too much time with small subplots, such as the one between the little girl and her ornery grandpa, which slowed down the pacing of the movie. Wild Search is also a bit more lighthearted than many of Lam's other movies (which may put off those looking for Lam's signature gritty action/drama), but still should not disappoint fans of his (and Chow Yun-Fat's) work.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]

Reviewed by: JUlibas
Date: 10/14/2003
Summary: Tightly shot Docu-drama by Ringo Lam, not a cheap remake of Witness

Wild Search is a Ringo Lam docu-drama starring Yun-Fat Chow and Cherie Cheung. Lam regular Roy Cheung co-stars as a gun runner out to get revenge on Chow (playing a HK cop looking for contraband firearms). Cheung plays a countryfied woman who's cute as a button daughter witnesses a nasty murder. Lam's other regulars Joe Chu and Tommy Wong also make guest star apperences.

What I like about this movie is the way the action scenes were shot. Lam uses his camera to follow the scenes as if they were real gun battles instead of fire fights staged in front of an audience. Oh well. As in all of Lam's films, the film has heart
and emotion not usually found in films of this genre. Yes, Ringo Lam is a one of a kind director.


Reviewed by: laadolf
Date: 08/31/2002
Summary: Heartwarming human drama

Chow Yun Fat plays Hong Kong Police Sergeant Lau Chun Pong, nicknamed "Mau Mau". Mau Mau is a man in a downward spiral, having lost his wife and child in a robbery. When first introduced, he's sitting in a car, chain smoking cigarettes and drinking from his flask, watching the drama of street life before him as he awaits the arrival of an informant. His expression is disinterested and weary. In numbing himself from his grief, he is now numb to life. His job is what keeps him going, and he is still good at it. He commands the loyalty, respect and affection of his colleagues and supervisor, in spite of self destructive habits such as drinking on the job and wild driving.

Cherie Chung plays the sister of the murdered arms dealer--whose death sets the plot in motion. Chung's Cher Lee is a woman of quiet strength and dignity. Life has not been kind to her. Her husband betrayed her, leading a secret second life with a woman from the Chinese interior, fathering a son. During their marriage he berated her for being clumsy and stupid. Rather than continuing to suffer the humiliation, Cher has divorced him and lives quietly with her father, working along side him in the village fields.

Her sister's death brings Mau Mau into her life dramatically. Their relationship is at first contentious as he suspects her and her father of complicity in the dead sister's arms dealing. The relationship begins to transform as Mau Mau finds ever more reason to be in Cher's company and subsequently aids Cher in tracking down the father of her 4 year old niece. Unfortunately for nearly all involved, this man turns out to be the kingpin of the arms smuggling operation.

Thrown into each others company, facing adversity and danger, these two wounded souls begin to blossom. A tentative, tender relationship grows and is tested time and again: through Mau Mau's suspension from the force (a result of threatening the powerful, rich arms kingpin after said kingpin's men beat Mau almost senseless); a domestic drama within Cher's family concerning her young niece and her father; the complication of Cher's ex-husband returning, determined to win his wife back; and Mau Mau's shooting by Cher's sister's murderer.

To be sure, these are restrained performances. Yet one only has to watch Cherie Chung as Cher as she sits at the bedside of the wounded Mau Mau, not knowing if he will live or die, her worry, longing and love playing over her features, to appreciate her work in this film. Chow's Mau Mau may lack the flash and dazzle of some of his bullet ballet roles, but the transformation from grief stricken widower to a man being brought back to life by love is fascinating to watch. This actor's ability to express emotion and portray transformation with an economy of effort is amazing. His scenes with the young actress playing the daughter of the murdered woman are especially touching and any and all scenes between Chung and Chow are charged with chemistry.

Highly recommended to anyone who prefers a more realistic type of violence, leavened with a little humor and a lot of human drama.


Reviewed by: hokazak
Date: 12/09/1999

ATC: the Book says, "Chow Yun-Fat is a cop who confronts a gang ofViolent Triad psychos. He also finds time to rescue a little girl. And fall in love with her mother." As usual, they don't quite have it right. CYF is a cop who, in the course of investigating the arms-smuggling related of a woman - to which the only witness is her 4 year old daughter - befriends the victim's sister. The sister (aunt of the little girl who witnessed the killing) lives out in the countryside with her embittered father - the little girl's grandfather. In many ways this film is a human interest story, which chronicles the changes and growth of the relations among the widower cop (CYF) and the other three characters in the rural village - the aunt (Cherie Chung), the litlle girl, and the crabby grandfather. Over the course of time, new bonds are formed or reformed in the lives of these abandoned souls (the girl is an orphan, Chow and the grandfather are widowers, and Cherie Chung is a divorcee). The unfolding of this relational drama is punctuated by a serious of violent encounters, of escalating intensity, between the protagonists and the gun- runners - principally, the evil boss "Hung" and his main hit man (played by Roy Cheung Yiu Yeung), who becomes obsessed with killing Chow. Like School on Fire, and director Ringo Lam's other films _except_ for "Full Contact," this film aims to be a serious drama in which the relationships and conflicts are of central importance, and the violent clashes between criminals and cops are shot more in the mode of "realism" than that of a John Woo-like hyper-stylized "ballet" of carnage.

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Quite satisfying action/drama about a young girl who is the only witness of the murder of her mother. Chow Yun-fat is the cop who is assigned to the case and who will end up by having a lot of troubles (and villains) on his back . One interesting aspect of this film is that there is no excess of violence, which is unusual for a Ringo Lam' s film. He once said in a interview that he doesn't like to those ultra violent flick (the "FIRE" series, "FULL CONTACT", ect), the only reason why he did them was for the money. I though back then that he was bullshiting but I guess he was right after all. This film and the disappointing "THE ADVENTURERS" might be some good examples of that.. It's definitely an underrated film.

[Reviewed by Martin Sauvageau]