新古惑仔之少年激鬥篇 (1998)
Young and Dangerous: The Prequel

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 06/18/2007
Summary: zipping up my boots...

well, after finally flogging the series to death with the fifth film in the series, andrew lau points his camera at some new faces in this prequel.

the film begins with the shots on the football field, from the original 'young and dangerous'; with a young nam (nicholas tse), chicken (sam lee), chou-pan (benjamin yuen) and pou-pan (yu ka-ho) having a run in with ugly kwan (francis ng). after being thrown out of school for performing an anti-school (although it may just have been because it was so bad?) song in a talent show, the friends decide to join with bee (frankie ng) and become triads with hung hing.

the four, along with big head (daniel wu), rise through the ranks of hung hing, which is, as usual, at war with those pesky ting sung triads. there's fighting aplenty, double-dealing and, between the air of homo-eroticism, nam finds time to woo big head's girlfriend, mei (shu qi, yet another of the people who play two different characters in this series).

well, despite the hate from some viewers, nicholas tse does a pretty good job as the young nam; not that ekin cheng is particularly old or leaves big shoes to fill. sam lee, on the other hand, has the much trickier job of becoming chicken; the character that jordan chan made the star of the series: i'm happy to say that he doesn't let anyone down. the ngs, francis and frankie, don't let you down and there's even a little cameo from sandra; whose 'young and dangerous' off-shoot, 'portland street blues', i look forward to watching.

not quite on par with the first three films, although it's much closer to them than 4 or 5 were.

good stuff...

Reviewed by: adamas85
Date: 12/17/2006
Summary: A fine film and worthy watch

Andrew Lau once again brings the legendary characters of Cow-Man’s ‘Teddy Boy’ comics to life in this gritty triad story. I mention the term gritty as the story seems to be lot darker and violent than its predecessors, there is frequent beatings, heroin addictions, Ho-Nam’s mother passing away, Ho-Nam being tortured and Ho-Nam’s drug related nightmare. The film is also set around the time of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, throughout the film you see many extras standing around televisions watching the events unfold.

The movie also has several subplots, there is relationship between Ho-Nam and one of his class mates Kelly, it’s the obvious bad boy pines for the rich good girl, but it just seems to sizzle out to nothing. Then there is the relationship between Big Head (Daniel Wu) and his girlfriend Fei (Shu Qi), Head’s hot temper puts a heavy strain on their relationship and it leads Fei off into a subtle relationship with Ho-Nam, which also sizzles out to be nothing. There is also the back story of the relationship between Ho-Nam and his mother and step-father and the storyline of Kwan’s (Francis Ng) betrayal to the Hung Hing.

I must admit Nicholas Tse does a pretty good job, people have started to rate his performance over Ekin Chengs, mainly because Tse is showing more emotional, but I think that is because this his how Ho-Nam was like as a teenager, but growing up he’s became stronger, but that’s just my opinion.

There is also a nice little movie reference to Portland Street Blues, which is a spin-off movie from the Young & Dangerous series which is based on the past of ‘Sister 13’ played by the lovable Sandra Ng. There reference is when Ho-Nam and the gang go to kill ‘Bill’, but with the Tung Sing gang attacking them, the four friends spread out and Pou-Pan gets lost, he asks two young ladies, ‘Where am I?’, the young ladies actually are Sandra Ng and Kirsty Yeung. If you’ve seen PSB’s you’ll find this to be a nice little in-joke.

Notable appearances? Well apart from Sandra Ng and Kirsty Yeung, Lee Sui-Kei makes an appearance as his famous character ‘Kei’, Law Lan makes her appearance as Ho-Nam’s grandmother, Michael Chan makes an appearance as the leader of the Tung Sing triads and Yuen Bun makes an appearance as a police officer.

Final thoughts, a fine film and worthy watch, enjoy it!

(Source: HKCuk.co.uk)

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 04/25/2006
Summary: Fighting for a different kind of freedom...

Designed to fill in the time between their initial recruitment and the subsequent scenes in the original "Young and Dangerous," Y&D: The Prequel focuses on Chan Ho-Nam (Nicholas Tse)and his three friends as they learn the ropes under Bee (Frankie Ng Chi-Hung). The opening scene is the same, with Ho-Nam and his friends being beaten up by Kwan and saved by Bee, but then we get to see how it is that they are drawn into the triads through circumstances and sly moves by Bee. All four of the teens, especially Chicken (Sam Lee), are rebellious in nature and after they are suspended from school because of a talent show disaster, they are attacked once again by Kwan's scrawny second-in-charge, Piggy. Deciding that they have had enough of being picked on, the three (Chicken has already joined) decide to become soldiers for Bee, hoping that eventually they'll move up the structure and leave their drab surroundings and lifestyle.

I am a relative newcomer to the Triad-genre film and most likely, as a result, I really enjoyed this film a great deal. Yes, there are some cheesy parts at the talent show (along with karaoke subtitles), and the acting is less than stellar in some parts, but overall the movie is very entertaining. Nicholas Tse is actually quite good as No-Ham, and his dynamic with Yu Ka-Ho (who plays Pou-Pan) is very funny. Most of their scenes seem improvised as Tse is trying hard not to break into fits of laughter at Yu's antics. A real stand-out in his scenes is Frankie Ng as Bee, who seems to have the Triad boss role nailed at this point. Menacing yet able to seem fatherly at the same time, you can really see how the kids look up to him and get sucked into the dangerous lifestyle, willing to do anything asked of them to get a leg up. Daniel Wu (credited as Daniel Ng) is also good his big screen debut, playing an established member and boyfriend to Shu Qi. Although her role is limited, the character of Fei (played by Shu Qi) certainly adds some flavor to the story. Her chemistry with Tse (who falls for her) is undeniable and although she abruptly disappears, her reasons behind it are certainly believable and warranted.
In addition, the setting of the movie at the same time as the protests in Tiananmen Square draws a nice contrast to the lives of the protagonists. While students their age are fighting for their rights and freedoms on the mainland, Chan and his friends are fighting their peers for criminal status and ill-gotten gains. The use of constant news reports on TVs in the background during the movie serve to remind the viewer how pointless Chan and his friend's problems are in comparison to what was going on a relative short distance away. In the end, although you can understand what has happened to the group, you can hardly empathize.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/27/2005

Having realized that they might have run the course of Y&D with part 5, but still wanting to milk the franchise (and, maybe more importantly, having a new set of young stars to thrust upon Hong Kong), the filmmakers turned to that old tried-and-true gimmick: the prequel. The story takes place after the playground incident in the first film, with Bee saving the kids from Kwan. However, the prequel expands on this. Ho Nam (played here by Tse) does not immediately join up with Bee as he did in Y&D1. He admires Bee and sees the Triad as a way to get out of his poor existence, but does not want to hurt his mother's feelings or put his friends in jeopardy. Ho Nam still sees school as a way out of the ghetto, but after he is kicked out for singing an "objectionable" song at the school's talent show, that road is closed to him. After he learns that Chicken (played by Lee) has already joined up with Bee, Ho Nam makes the choice that will determine the rest of his life.

After the last couple of Y&D movies, I was a bit skeptical about the prequel. But this film really recaptures the formula that made the first three films fun to watch. Newcomer Tse turns in a great performance as the young Ho Nam (he won a Hong Kong Film Award for his part) and Sam Lee is quite good as well. The plot is fairly simple, but the style once again lifts this movie above the average Triad movie. It's also one of the few prequels where it is interesting to watch how the characters develop, especially when it comes to seeing how exactly Ho Nam became the leader of the group.

My personal favorite of the series; it can stand quite well on its' own. In fact, I would recommend watching this one first before the "real" first installment. Highly recommended for fans of the genre.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]

Reviewed by: SteelwireMantis
Date: 12/22/2003
Summary: Slighlty below the level of 'Young and Dangerous 3'

After the dismal 'Young and Dangerous 5', director Andrew Lau and script writer Manfred Wong teamed up to introduce young talent such as Nicholas Tse and Sam Lee to reprise the Hung Hing boys in their early days of Triad life.

Chan Ho-Nam (Tse) and his school/bandmates Chicken (Lee), Pou Pan and Chou Pan (what happened to Yee?) are kicked out of school for singing a rock song representing anti-school culture in a music contest and are labelled 'bad apples' of the neighbourhood by teachers. After being beaten down by Piggy - the protege of Hung Hing gangster Kwan (Francis Ng), the boys are locked up and accused of anti-social behaviour and known as 'Gu Wak Jai's'. After being bailed out by Uncle Bee (Ng Chi Hung) Ho-Nam and his crew decide to follow Bee. While becoming a part of Hung Hing, Ho-Nam is attracted to Fei (Shu Qui) the girlfriend of Bee's older protege Big Head (Daniel Wu). We see the Causeway Boys rise through the ranks of Hung Hing as they deal with death, beatings, love and rivalry.

This film is much more enjoyable than the first 2 installments in the 'Y&D' series, as it delivers very good performances by Nicholas Tse and Sam Lee (was just as good as he was in 'Beast Cops')- brilliant as Chicken. We also see cameos by Sandra Ng as the infamous Sister 13 and Kirsty Yung as Yung (short but funny). Fancis Ng and Ng Chi Hung are good as ever as they play thier characters in the original. Shu Qui is a bit out of place as I think she was casted mainly because of her sex appeal, but a great storyline and lots of action provides a good enough background for bloody violence and strong performances (Daniel Wu was also good). Out of all of the series, this installment is probably the most violent and brutal out of the lot as we do get the occaisional quick humour to provide a sense of entertainment.

Not as good as 'Young and Dangerous 3', 'Yound and Danger ous: The Prequel' provides a heap load of triad action with a cool soundtrack featuring Nicholas Tse (as some members hate him - probably out of jealousy) which makes it a must for fans of the series.


Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/23/2002
Summary: Cast change...slighty better

With Ekin out of the way, it didn't seem so bad as the last few, but again, it doesn't make up for the last few years of glorifying the gangster life. I just hope that no more are made.

Rating: 2/5

Reviewed by: Blue_Shadow
Date: 01/18/2002
Summary: A Prequel That Never Was.......

I'm one of many who've enjoyed the Young and Dangerous series over the years but 1998-released prequel never seemd to fit in.

The film clashed with the timeline of the original Y & D's. Also, Young and Dangerous was adapted from a popular comic but The Prequel was obviously made up in short time in order to give life back to the Y & D series after its disappointing part four and five. One strange scene in the film was the three students at the school concert mimicing Sammi Cheng, Ekin Cheng and Eric Kot from Feel 100%.

Personally, I found Shu Qi's character (Fai) was rather out of place and was perhaps unnecessary to have casted. Ng Chi Hung as Brother B was consistent and very well-played. Sam Lee did a good job playing the womanising Chooky but the boys playing Foreskin and Wrinkles were rather average. I would say that Nicholas Tse deserved his HKFA award as Best Newcomer. He did an excellent job playing Chan Ho-Nam and though at times looked as if he got a bit carried away, still managed to portrayed the character very well.

Overall, the film was not bad. It lacked excitement that the first Y & D brought everyone. The film can be taken as a more 'bloody' and violent version of Y & D. 6/10.

Reviewed by: runo_jp
Date: 06/11/2001
Summary: Young and dangerous : the prequel

Mmmh! I enjoyed very much the first 3 of the serie (which were really a complete trilogy to me!)
This one does not add anything to it, although I cannot say what is wrong, compared to the others. Only complain being the character of Shu Qi, kind of love interest, who completely disappeared in the follow-ups (or the ones before, this being a prequel done afterwards… does anyone understand ??)

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 02/12/2001
Summary: Better than the first 3 movies

This prequel which i borrow by accident turned out better than i thought.
I can't remember too much about the movie but i remember it was better than the first 3 of the Y&D series (i've only seen the 1st 3 so far but don't plan to see any more since i think they are average movies at best)

Nicolas Tse look like Ekin Cheung in some respects, and thats why i guess Nicolas played Ekin's son in "A man called Hero." Tell me if anyone agrees........

Anyway, i can't remember enough to give a proper rating, but from what i remember i give this


Reviewed by: Fuck You
Date: 01/25/2001
Summary: Nicholas Tse Ting Fung as Chan Ho-Nam???

Nicholas Tse Ting Fung as Chan Ho-Nam???
It just doesn't seem to work, he's to much of a wanker to play that role, or may be he is a fucking wanker, that can't act.
Sam Lee Chan Sam as Chicken as Daniel Wu Yin-Cho as Big Head is the only two main'ish' characters in the film that make it worth watching.

Reviewed by: AV1979
Date: 01/08/2001
Summary: Excellent Tse debut

I never heard of Nicholas Tse until I saw the trailer for this film. I thought he made an excellent film debut with his portrayal of the young Chan Ho-Nam. Also Sam Lee was perfect for the role of Chicken (he looks like a young Jordan Chan) and I was glad to see Daniel Wu kick some butt as Chin Kar-Lok's Big Head character. I thought there was too much promotion on Tse's music (school competition and most of the music heard in the film). Other than that, I highly recommend seeing this film!!!

Reviewed by: poseur
Date: 07/31/2000
Summary: Hung Hing Kids

This movie is quite good. The cast is quite suitably chosen (especially Chicken). Return of a few familiar faces are also more than welcome. The only complaints I have is the school music competition..... Chan Ho Nam playing electric guitar, Chicken playing drums and so on... what kind of crap is that ?! If it's a promotion act for Nicholas Tse, go do it somewhere else. Don't disgrace the Y&D series. Rascals are supposed to fight, curse and act tough with some comical incidents and hard life lessons along the way. Not music competition to impress a school prefect. Chan Ho Nam supposedly wrote the lyrics too (huh ?!).