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No Compromise

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 10/06/2007

Well, it's time for this month's seemingly mandatory Danny Lee cop movie review. This time out, we have the 1988 picture No Compromise, in which Danny plays (you guessed it) a hot-headed policeman. He's on the trail of two Mainland criminals (Lam Wai and Pauline Wong) who killed one of his men. Determined to break the case, Lee puts everything aside, including his family, which causes his wife (Carol Cheng) to question their marriage.

Like most Danny Lee police potboilers, No Compromise isn't anything special, but it doesn't fail in any particular department, either. Though it does threaten to teeter off into the land of bad moviedom with the performance of Lee Chi-Git, who plays Danny's son. Now, I've seen a hell of a lot of bad performances by kid actors in my time, but this stuff takes the cake.

We're talking "the brat from Rumble in the Bronx" here. I'm sure some of you out there will be saying I'm mean for criticizing a kid so much, but believe me, after hearing this bowl-cut sporting snot-nosed tot screech and whine for five minutes, you'll be cheering like I was when he finally gets pistol-whipped near the end of the movie -- and even that doesn't shut him up!

Putting the obnoxious kid aside, No Compromise does actually sport some good acting. Surprisingly, the best stuff comes from the women, who are far too often regulated to "jade vase" roles in these types of movies.

In particular, Pauline Wong -- someone often not noted for her acting skills -- does an excellent job. There's a scene where she does surgery on herself to remove a bullet that is one of the most gut-wrenching things I have viewed in quite some time. Carol Cheng also takes what could very well be a stereotypical "cop wife" role and makes into something more three-dimensional.

As for the action, there isn't a ton of it, at least in the expected "bullet ballet" fashion. Sure, there are a couple of shootouts, and the squib hits seem to produce about a gallon of blood, but the action here is more psychological. The final act is a fairly tense cat-and-mouse game between Lee and Lam, which results in a standoff inside a hospital.

It's certainly not the best output Hong Kong film-makers have ever produced, but like the movie as a whole, it kept me interested. At the end of the day, No Compromise warrants a mild recommendation if you for some reason have a hankering for a Danny Lee picture and have exhausted the supply at your local video store.

[review from]

Reviewer Score: 6