hPx (1993)
Taxi Hunter


Reviewed by: Brian Thibodeau
Date: 07/10/2009
Summary: Get mad, get even.

Urban audience manipulation at its best. In a year when Hong Kong cab drivers came under attack for their reprehensible behaviour and Michael Douglas blasted a corpse-strewn trail through society’s vermin in the timely suspense thriller FALLING DOWN, executive producer, co-writer and knockoff artiste extraordinaire Tony Leung Hung-wah (see RANSOM EXPRESS, RETURN TO DARK) found both his most popular screen protagonist and a long-overdue social target. He also corrected FALLING DOWN’s manifest flaw: whereas the Douglas character was ultimately revealed in flashbacks to be a big asshole before he lost his marbles, Leung, along with writers Lau Yin, Ray Mak and Herman Yau (who also directed), makes his “hero” (Anthony Wong) a sympathetic everyman whose sad, inevitable transformation from law-abiding, hard-toiling insurance salesman into murderous vigilante—after the negligence of a cabbie causes the death of his pregnant wife (Athena Chu)—will resonate with anyone who’s ever been screwed over by the service sector. Despite an arbitrary subplot involving cops Yu Rong-guang and Ng Man-tat posing as cabbies to draw out the killer, it’s clear the filmmakers knew this was one payback fantasy that could fly on its right wing to the very end! Feelin’ the urge? Don’t get even. Get TAXI HUNTER!

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/27/2005

After his pregnant wife is dragged to her death by a taxi, a mild-mannered accountant (Wong) turns into a killing machine as he takes out his revenge on HK's taxi drivers. Supposedly based around real events at the time as the general public was getting sick of mistreatment by taxi drivers.

Taxi Hunter really shows what a great actor Anthony Wong is. He has said that this is one of his favorite roles and it shows. It could have very easily changed into the stereotypical Cat III psycho (a trail blazed by Wong himself in his and Yau's previous pairing The Untold Story) but Wong gives his character a degree of humanity that makes us sympathetic to him, even though some of the things he does (such as shooting a man in the legs multiple times just to see him cry in pain) are reprehensible. As in The Untold Story, Yau's direction is nothing extraordinary, but does get the job done... and proves you don't have to use a bunch of camera tricks to make a visually satisfying movie, something more directors -- both in the US and HK -- should take note of. The story (while having some similarities to the US film Falling Down) is pretty original with a good ending that will leave the viewer wanting more.

If there is fault to be found in the movie, it is in the portrayal of the police. As with The Untold Story, the cops (for the most part) are once again portrayed as buffoons and add comic relief which, frankly, Taxi Hunter doesn't need. It's an intriguing character study in of itself that shouldn't depend on gags to interest the viewer. All in all, though, Taxi Hunter is a great movie that shows another side to the "true crime" genre.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]


Reviewed by: Brad.Daniels
Date: 12/09/1999

A friend tells me this film was inspired by a taxi strike in HongKong. Frustrations were pretty high, so the film went over well.


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Ah Kin (Anthony Wong) is a meek insurance salesman who has unfortunate luck with cabbies. These HK cabbies are cruel, insensitive, will refuse a ride to a passenger, will rape a drunk girl, etc. Ah Kin's pregnant wife is killed by a cabbie and Ah Kin slowly slips into depression, then decides he needs to take revenge. Anthony is perfect, adding humor with a proportionate dose of insanity to his role and Yu Wing Kwong is the studly cop friend. Overall, an effective movie as after watching this movie, I just DESPISED these cab drivers as they are all portrayed as the lowest scum of earth. But this movie capitalizes on the problems that occurred with HK cabbies and their refusal of services or demanding additional charges. I wonder if matters had gotten better.

[Reviewed by Jennie Tam]


Reviewed by: spinali
Date: 12/08/1999
Summary: NULL

Ah Kin (Tommy Wong) is a hard-working insurance agent, his adorable wife is pregnant, and he's been having a lot of problems with taxis lately. Ah Chung is his best friend, a hellfire, straight-arrow police officer who mostly wears a tee-shirt. When his wife starts hemorrhaging, Ah Kin calls a taxi, but it leaves when someone else offers more money. His wife dies, and now it's time for revenge. Two good car chases and solid acting help this one out.

(2/4)



[Reviewed by Steve Spinali]

Reviewer Score: 5