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古惑仔之人在江湖 (1996)
Young and Dangerous

Reviewed by: Chungking_Cash
Date: 03/03/2010

Being a rascal (triad) has never been so noble and has never been so much fun, either, than in Andrew Lau's controversial adaptation of the popular "Teddy Boy" comic that struck a cord with impressionable viewers and touched a raw nerve with the government and critics alike.

Manfred Wong, who wrote and produced "Young and Dangerous," tailors his primary cast of obnoxious low ranking punks (Ekin Cheng, Jordan Chan, Jerry Lamb, and Michael Tse) in such a way that attempts to convince his audience these young thugs (or "teddy boys") would never hurt anyone who didn't already have it coming and are all [mostly] above the deplorable acts often synonymous with organized crime.

Apparently the kids bought it: "Young and Dangerous" proved the surprise hit of 1996 and spawned two sequels in that year alone, in addition to three more official sequels, two spinoffs, and two prequels all in a span of four years.

Not dissimilar to past Andrew Lau projects "Young and Dangerous" is a car wreck of a film but one whose entertainment value is derived from your inability to look away.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 06/03/2009
Summary: A nice start, hopefully more to come...

A great beginning to the Young and Dangerous series with charismatic acting from Ekin Cheng and Jordan Chan as well as from Francis and Frankie Ng. Although a couple of the members have short-lived roles, the comradeship between the friends is evident and well portrayed. An adorable Gigi Lai is also good as the stuttering girlfriend of Chan Ho (Cheng). Excellent plot as well with a nasty Francis Ng bending all the rules of triads and pushing his weight around to gain power. He does a great job of making you hate him enough to allow a rousing finale when he gets his comeuppance. The director, Andrew Lau, also adds a stylistic twist by incorporating the oringinal comic strip on which the movie is based into the cinematography. Frames from the comic are mimiced exactly and made to come to life by the actors. On the other end of the spectrum, there are some typically great guerilla film-making crowd reactions to action scenes in the film. It's always fun to watch the people's reactions on the Hong Kong streets to a camera crew filming. Not sure it deserves the oft-used "Godfather of Chinese films" moniker, but it is a very good crime and triad film.


Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 06/09/2007
Summary: the first of many...

based on cowman's 'teddy boy' comic strip, andrew lau's 'young and dangerous' was a hong kong box office sensation, spawned numerous sequels and inspired a glut of copycats. the film tells the story of five friends who join the hung hing triads in wanchai, led by nam (ekin cheng) and chicken (jordan chan). as well as focussing on the relationship between nam, chicken and their partners, internal triad disputes, in particular, between nam and chicken's boss uncle bee (frankie ng) and the ruthlessly ambitious ugly kwan (francis ng).

well, what can i say? a pretty standard tale of friendship, brotherhood, triad squabbles, drinking and womanising, all executed with a good dose of andrew lau's shakey camera stylings and packed with some great characters; what's not to like? even if the narrative loses its way, a little, before coming back together for the finale, the likes of jordan chan, francis ng and gigi lai (as nam's cute, stuttering, car thief girlfriend) make this incredibly watchable. i look forward to having anthony wong join the cast for the second film, although i'll miss francis ng...

good stuff...

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/27/2005

The story begins as a group of kids are trying to play soccer when they are harassed by a local Triad boss, Kwan (Ng). Another boss, the kindly Bee, saves them from getting beat up too bad and the kids decide to join him in the Hung Hing Group. Flash-forward ten years and the kids, led by Ho Nam (Cheng) and his right-hand man Chicken (Chan), are quickly moving up the Triad ladder. They spend their days gambling, drinking and harassing women, among them a local hooker named Smartie (Lai) who steals Nam's car and then later his heart. The "president" of Hung Hing (Yam) decides it's time for the boys to get serious and sends them to Macao to conduct a deal. During their trip, it becomes apparent that they were set up by someone within Hung Hing. Ho Nam must try to clear his name and avenge his friends.

While it suffers from an unoriginal plot and somewhat wooden acting from the lead Cheng, the film's quick pace and slick visuals, as well as a great villainous performance from Francis Ng, make Young and Dangerous a fairly entertaining and watchable film. A good introduction to the series that will likely make you wanting to see more.

[review from]

Reviewed by: Libretio
Date: 07/01/2004
Summary: Something old, something new = middling results


Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Sound format: Mono

The end of Hong Kong's 'New Wave' revolution - initiated by Tsui Hark's THE BUTTERFLY MURDERS in 1979 and consolidated throughout the 1980's by the likes of John Woo, Ringo Lam Ling-tung, et al - was signalled by the inexplicable commercial success of Andrew Lau Wai-keung's YOUNG AND DANGEROUS, a visually frenetic melding of teen idol actors and old-fashioned triad sensationalism, adapted from the graphic novels by Niu Lo (aka Kau Man). Ekin Cheng Yee-kin (known at the time under the English name Dior Cheng) plays a rising young star in the Hung Hing society who falls foul of rival gangster Francis Ng Chun-yu (GEN-X COPS), a psychotic killer who covets the Hung Hing leadership for himself. Betrayal and murder ensue, until Cheng and his loyal friends mount a counterattack against Ng, leading to a redemptive finale.

Director Lau also serves as cinematographer on this dog-eared potboiler, adopting a hand-held camera style which simply emphasizes the impoverished budget and hurried production schedule, and the decision to print key action scenes in the 'jerky-cam' style popularized by Wong Kar-wai in the likes of CHUNG KING EXPRESS (1994) is profoundly irritating. Manfred Wong's screenplay takes too long setting up the basic premise, and the film's opening half is almost derailed by needless comic set-pieces involving Cheng's relationship with Gigi Lai Chi (playing the tough cookie sister of another gangster) which threaten to sink the entire production until events take a turn into dark-hearted melodrama, culminating in a dramatic showdown between Good and Evil.

Actor/pop singer Cheng is a bland leading man (it's doubtful he'd amount to very much without the floppy fringe and Lau's complimentary lighting scheme), and he's upstaged throughout by Ng as the monstrous psychopath who ruins the hero's life whilst murdering everyone who opposes his methods, innocent and guilty alike. The movie's only real claim to fame, however, is that it kick-started the career of second-billed Jordan Chan Siu-Chun (KITCHEN), an unlikely heartthrob whose natural acting ability atones for a lack of movie star good looks, and who has since emerged as one of HK cinema's shining lights; his performance in YOUNG AND DANGEROUS as Cheng's loyal, hare-brained best friend is charming and unaffected, and seemingly effortless. HK movie veteran Simon Yam Tat-wah (BULLET IN THE HEAD) makes a brief appearance as head of the Hing Hung group, and Spencer Lam Seung-yi plays a former triad-turned-priest whose Christian piety doesn't prevent him from landing a few well-aimed kicks on Ng during one of the film's more bizarre episodes! Director Lau went on to better things (including the recent "Infernal Affairs" series), though not before directing six sequels to YOUNG AND DANGEROUS, the first of which appeared in HK theaters mere months after its predecessor!

Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: SteelwireMantis
Date: 11/08/2003
Summary: Fun, enjoyable entertaining Gu Wak Jai flick

Andrew Lau teams up Ekin Cheng, Jordan Chan, Simon Yam and Francis Ng in the first of an entertaining saga of films based upon the popular Chinese comic strip about life in the Triad.

Chan Ho-Nam (Cheng), Chicken (Chan) and their friends are picked on by Ugly Kwan (Francis Ng) as kids - a triad member of the Hung Hing Society. Kwans' fellow Bee (Frankie Ng) sees sympathy and takes the kids under his wing as triad members. As they grow older their reputations as Gu Wak Jais' has become more widespread and popular in Hong Kong. While living the higfhlife with his fellow brothers and newly found girlfriend Smartie (Gigi 'So F*****g Sexy' Lai), Ho-Nam is leading the perfect life. Hung Hing boss Mr. Chiang (Simon Yam) gives Bee the order to kill an ex-member of Hung Hing; Crazy Bill in Macau. Bee sends Nam and his crew to do the job. Chickens' girl Ho-Yan is kidnapped and the crew are betrayed leaving their brother Chou-Pan killed in an ambush and Nam injured. Nam is drugged with Ho-Yan and is filmed having sex with her. Chicken falls out with Ho-Nam and leaves Hong Kong to go Taiwan. Little do they know that it was Ugly Kwan whon set them up, and is now the boss of Hung Hing. When Kwan murders Bee and his family, Chicken returns to Hong Kong with some boys from Taiwan and reforms with Ho-Nam to avenge Bee.

The plot in this film was very good as were the characters. Ekin Cheng gives a great performance as Chan Ho-Nam as Jordan Chan is twice as good as the lustful Chicken. But the show is stolen by Francis Ng as the vulgar and evil villain Ugly Kwan, who's charisma and pure asshole-ness proves a worthy performance. Good supporting roles played by the cast including Simon Yam as Mr. Chiang and Spencer Lam as the Catholic Priest. A special cameo by Shing Fui-On as Saur is quite an enjoyable bit in the film and Gigi Lai looks mighty hot in this movie.

A well-directed, stylish piece with great performances over a great soundtrack, 'Young and Dangerous' proves to be a Triad genre classic.


Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: jbc_19
Date: 12/07/2002

This was an excellent movie. I have seen many of the sequels, but only sequals 2 and 3 are worth watching, in my opinion.
The main themes of the movie are, as mentioned before, are brotherhood and loyalty.
The music is excellent. One of the main songs 'friendship' is one of my all time favourite songs.
The only real emotional/romantic moment is when Nam's g/friend is murdered in front of him.
I definately reccomend this movie.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 11/16/2002
Summary: Great stuff

This is every Chinese teen's favorite movie. But there are plenty of other reasons to watch this cool triad flick, the most important being "it's good." I found it fairly entertaining, more so than most triad movies.


Reviewed by: hoppsan
Date: 08/09/2002
Summary: Great!

I really likes this one, both the actors and the director is good. Jordan Chan is great as Chicken and even Ekin Cheng is good in this one. But the best actor must be Francis Ng, he is superb in the role of Kwan.

See this one!

Reviewed by: Dyogenez
Date: 05/10/2002
Summary: An OK start

This is how it all started. Naam's rise to become a boss. The first of the Y&D series is far less violent than the sequels, but if you are not accustomed to violence some of this series will be very surprising to you. Looking at it as more of a documentry of triad society tells how awful the lifestyle is. Although this series makes the lifestyle seem quite glamorous, it does it job of also showing loss and regret for joining the triads. Either way, its a more romantic look at that lifestyle than is realistic. 7/10

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/13/2002
Summary: AVERAGE

I agree 100% with 'Sydneyguy' on this one, there was nothing special about this at all. It was less than an average movie, and I don't really have much more than that to say. It's just another glorified Triad story, with 5 movies to follow. THe production was very rushed which is obvious when you see it, and also the fact they manage to make THREE of these movies in the same year! But saying that, it is entertaining at times, and Ekin Cheng does act well at times. One point I have to make is that I was horrified to see that EVERY SINGLE Chinese woman in the movie was portraid as nothing more than a hooker, and even an old lady being beaten up in the toilets! This is just wrong.

Rating: (out of 5): 2.5

(This rating is based on the year & genre, so don't think it's based as a comparison on new releases etc.)

Reviewed by: Yellow Hammer
Date: 05/10/2001

This movie was released to the movie theatres right before the 1996 Lunar New Year and remained in the movie theatres for 3 months, almost unheard of in HK. Whether you like the movie or not, the fact is that this movie spawned dozens of sequels and copycat movies, so you could say that this was a watershed movie similar to movies such as A Better Tomorrow. (I didn't say that the movie was as good as ABT though).

So what made this movie so popular? I'm not sure, I wasn't in HK in 1996. Certainly there have been lots of movies dealing with triads in the past. Also, Y&D was devoid of any so-called 'big name' actors. But from a movie standpoint, it combines elements of comedy, a decent storyline that hits home with everyday Hong Kong, good acting, especially from the two 'dai lo' characters, bad guy Ugly Kwan (Francis Ng) and Brother Bee (in real life a former triad member, Frankie Ng), an energistic set of relatively new faces, plus the traditional characteristics found in triad movies - brotherhood, loyalty, sex, revenge, etc., all elements in a hit movie. Perhaps it was the manga-like appearance of the movie or the cinematography that made it popular as well.

I wish there would be a better DVD out with more extras, if only to pay this movie its respect. But the movie itself though not critically acclaimed, is quite interesting to watch.

Missing Subtitles:

At the very beginning of the movie, the background caption reads:

In 1956, the Shek Kip Mei area of Hong Kong has a big fire (actually more like an inferno) and much of it is destroyed. The Hong Kong government, in order to resettle the thousands of underprivileged people who lived in the Shek Kip Mei area, built a lot of public housing. During this period, a big baby boom also occured. As such, thousands of these people lived in this housing, which was very narrow and small for families. During this period many of the household members were out to make a buck, so many of the younger generation had no one looking after them. The sports courts (where kids played soccer and basketball) were primarily the outlet where youngsters went. However, this was also the area where the 'goo wak jai' (the traid rascals) hung out doing their recruiting activities as well. Then the movie forwards to 1985.

There is also a manga portrait of each of the 5 main Hung Hing 'goo wak jai' in the movie with background information only in Chinese. All are Hung Hing members:

- Chan Ho Nam (Ekin Cheng) is 24 years old and likes to lead by example
- Chicken (Jordan Chan) is 23 years old and his favorite activity is to have sex with many partners
- Pou Pan (Jerry Lamb) age not given, is the chubby one, is the weak one and afraid of things
- Chow Pan (Jason Chu) is 22 years old and is the brother of Pou Pan, very quiet
- Dai Tin Yee (Michael Tse) is 23 years old, active and likes to box.

After Chan Ho Nam gets his formal punishment and beating for supposedly sleeping with Chicken's girl, the caption reads:

After the big Hung Hing meeting over the punishment, Chan Ho Nam quits Hing Hung and opens up a bar in Sai Kung. He changes his name as well. Then the movie forwards to 10 months later.

Reviewed by: rfong
Date: 04/21/2001

Ekin Cheng is a Brillllllllllllllll!acter one of the best i ever seen. His role as Chan ho nam was fantastic. the plot of this film was very good and the theme songs within were of top quality.

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 02/12/2001
Summary: Are you people joking?

This entertaining? You other people sure? I wonder why i am the odd one out!!

It's a simple story with nothing special to it. Some twists and turns here and there but not enough to satisfy me.

There are some bashing scenes and Jordan Chans hair colour is always changing. One or 2 funny scenes and thats it.

How this became a huge success, i dont know!! Some told me it's because of the Ekin and because of there clothes of all things!!

Anyway i have seen 1-3 of this series so far and i won't hire any of this series on purpose from what i am seeing now. I can't recommend this as being good.


Reviewed by: sharon
Date: 11/26/2000
Summary: Entertaining as Hell

This is THE story that started off little, and lead to the invasion of the Y&D boys of Hung Hing! The storyline is simple, just what you would expect from a triad movie; girls, fighting, backstabbing, revenge, and brotherhood. Somehow, there was something quite different about this movie from the rest. Wheather it's the stylish camera techniques, or the use of comic images.. it's really nicely put together.

There was that little sterotype of how women are portrayed in this, but that was hardly noticable with the attraction of the strong friendship and loyalty within Hung Hing. Every character leaves an impression in your mind, which is quite hard to do when you have so many! It was lively and the acting in this is just wonderful. A winning combination with the pair Ekin Cheng and Jordan Chan lighting up the screen.Also Francis Ng played a very convincing S.O.B bad guy. I think that everyone did a great job.

This is a very good entertaining film. There's comedy, drama, and just enough action to keep you interested. I would highly recommend it.

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

I love this series. This is what Hong Kong cinema is all about. Ekin Cheng and Jordan Chan are the newest pair of actors which fit just nicely when put together (like Water and Fire respectively). The rest of the gang are just as good and varied. I call them the gigolo, the joker and the serious one (I'm sure you can guess which is which). Raw is the word. I'll pick this over any western movie anytime. (I'm very anti-hollywood nowadays, so sue me.)

Reviewed by: hktopten
Date: 12/21/1999

As much as I dispise the subject matter, this film is fairly entertaining. The film would be a dead duck without Jordan Chan, Gigi Lai, and Larry Lam, and ESPECIALLY Francis Ng as the scene stealing Len Sun. No redeeming value, no moral stories, just a quick fix for someone really bored. Like the critics said, Man Jun's guided tour to the underworld.

Reviewed by: shelly
Date: 12/09/1999

Five young hoodlums (led by the pretty but slight Dior Cheng) sing karaoke, murder, joke around, get beaten up, win and lose women, and learn the value of blind loyalty in director and cinematographer Andrew Lau's nighttime neon-glitzy up-tempo HK gangster world. A sour, stylishly glib and morally challenged movie, sporting state-of-the-art slick visuals. It's too tempting to attribute this to the black hand of Wong Jing, who knows how to make immensely entertaining films out of almost nothing. But the same producer/director team made the similar but vastly more substantial "film bleu" TO LIVE AND DIE IN TSIMSHATSUI, in 1994. That movie had some sense of the complex, ambiguous moral world that its underworld characters inhabited, or rejected. Y&D doesn't even care: image is all.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Adapted from the manhwa (Chinese "comics") 'Teddy Boy' by Cow Man(Niu Lo).

[Reviewed by Christopher Fu]

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Good actors, with a really good director! Nice camera work, and all those cool scenes in the neon nightlife of HK. Anyway, the picture has a kind of typical story about triad life for young guys, the honor, revenge for the boss, brotherhood. All that stuff. I recommend it.

[Reviewed by Eduardo in NY]

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

A very satisfying street gang film based on a Japanese manga. Both the characters and the plot are interesting although the story has a smell of "deja-vu" (a la "BETTER TOMORROW"). The directing is stylised and most of the performances are good, specially Francis Ng as the main bad guy. I don't know if you'll agree with me, but I thought that his acting was obviously inspired by Garry Oldman's performance in "THE PROFESSIONAL".

[Reviewed by Martin Sauvageau]