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衝鋒隊─怒火街頭 (1996)
Big Bullet

Reviewed by: Hyomil
Date: 04/07/2011

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 04/28/2008

“Big Bullet” is the story of the intrepid men (and one woman) of Emergency Unit Car 2 against an over the top set of bad guys. Led by outcast Sergeant Bill Chu, a ragtag bunch of stereotypical cops confront a murderous gang with a gruesome plan to steal nine million dollars. This money isn’t in a bank vault, though. It is lodged in the Hong Kong headquarters of Interpol which is hosting a convention of police officials from all over the world. Those at the meeting take on the characteristics of most of the Hong Kong cops shown in this movie—they are too incompetent to get out of their own way let alone take cover or effectively fight back when dealing with armed criminals. The body count in “Big Bullet” is very high—most of those slain are police officers, some are innocent bystanders and only a few are criminals.

Sergeant Chu was transferred to the Emergency Unit after one too many instances of assaulting superior officers. His fame has preceded him and his new comrades are in awe both of his criminal catching prowess and willingness to punch a jerk like Inspector Guan. He the type of police officer who is often featured in movies but who never really exists in the day to day work of any police agency. He is loved by his subordinates, hated or feared by his superiors, a deadly shot and metes out punishment to commanding officers and manacled criminals alike. Hong Kong police movies often have confrontations in elevators or lobbies between criminals and the police officers who have locked them up or witnesses who have testified against them. This time the elevator meeting is between the newly demoted Chu and the Professor (Yu Rong-Guang) an arch-criminal who is manacled between two policemen. He taunts Sergeant Chu who hits him in the stomach. The other criminal leader is Bird, played by Anthony Wong with hair looking like he loaned it to John Travolta for “Pulp Fiction”. Both Wong and Yu are as maniacal and fearsome as one would expect.

Early in the movie there are two technically excellent sequences, one following the other. The first takes place in a restaurant where Bird sits down at a table with a Hong Kong plainclothesman and his fiancé. Bird is backed by a thug with a cloth wrapped bundle over his shoulder that might as well have had GUN stamped on it. In just a few seconds Benny Chan and his editor (two are credited) do quick cut among the cop, his fiancé, Bird and Francis Ng, playing another cop who happens to be having lunch at a nearby table. Varying the point of view from medium close up to extreme close up, throwing in a shot of the pistol that Bird is holding under the table, Chan creates a striking tableau of determination, fear, concern and decisiveness in as less time than it takes to tell. This is immediately followed by a very long and bloody gun battle that begins in the restaurant, moves to the street, through a bookstore and finally back to the street. Bullets fly, cars explode, bodies litter the scene and a grenade is tossed with casual insouciance but deadly effect. In addition to pistols, the bad guys have machine guns while the cops have with large gauge shotguns.

Then they do it again.

And again.

And once more.

And then they wind up driving into the belly of a taxiing C-130 that is taking off from formerly closed and currently secret airport manned by British military, some of whom have been suborned by the Professor. He and Bird meet exemplary ends—the Professor would have to be reassembled—the good guys prevail and the last shot ends in a freeze frame setting up a sequel that didn’t happen.

A viewer will enjoy “Big Bullet” in direct proportion to his liking for cars that blow up when hit with gunfire or fly into the air when a tire blows out; his enjoyment of watching extras dressed as cops run onto the set, almost always in bunches, and get shot down by criminals and his tolerance for inappropriate humor, such as when the heroes of Car 2 try to avoid being seen by Captain Liu, their boss who has ordered them off the chase. Berg Ng Ting-Yip as Inspector Guan, the commander trying to ruin Sergeant Chu’s career, does a good job making the audience love to hate him.

No suspense, no character development, no real plot, lots of gunshots—not bad for its type

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 03/08/2006
Summary: a film of two halves...

the first half of the film is a pretty decent, solid cop action; lau ching wan is transfered from serious crimes to the emergency unit (eu) after punching his superior. his new team at the eu welcome him, except for jordan chan, who is worried about his maverick policing styles; they find themselves straying from their duties to try and track down anthony wong and yu rong guang who are on a killing spree.

things start to take a turn for the daft around halfway through the film. whilst still maintaining some of the class and grit of the first half; cornyness and daftness sneak in; this doesn't make the film less enjoyable, far from it, but it does cheapen it somewhat.

still, it's a fun watch with lots of gunplay; not bad for a sunday evening...

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/18/2003

Lau Ching-Wan stars as the hotheaded cop Bill, who is demoted to the "Emergency Unit" (beat cops) after slugging his incompentent boss in the nose. However, he's not willing to let a big case go by and he (and his team of misfits) go after a team of high-class criminals led by Yu Rong Guang and Anthony Wong.

Big Bullet could have been a big stinker; the plot is nothing special and all of the characters are stereotypes (the hotheaded cop, the overenthusiastic cop who turns out to be a coward, etc.). The action sequences, while good, are really nothing special (at least compared to many other HK action films). Big Bullet is saved from being just another cop/action movie by the performances of the actors. While there's no Oscar-caliber performances (most of the actors play within their given stereotypes) all of the actors work really well together which makes the story much more plausible and pleasant to watch. Lau and Chan provide the exception to the rule by operating outside of their usual roles at the time (Lau's romantic loser and Chan's young hooligan) and give the film's best performances as well as a credible relationship for the movie to build around. Apparently, many of the principal actors in Big Bullet are friends in real life and it shows; none of the relationships in the film seem forced, which is a major problem in many action movies where attention to characterization is often diverted to emphasis on bloodshed.

A good action movie that should satisfy fans of the genre.

Reviewed by: Chungking_Cash
Date: 01/25/2003

By the early '90s, Hong Kong filmmakers had written so many valentines to criminals -- gangsters specifically -- that serving under the rank and file of a triad seemingly paralleled falling in love for the first time. A critical backlash began to mount and a number of films emerged that portrayed law enforcement agents as self-sacrificing heroes even in spite of personal fragmentation.

"Big Bullet," one such entry in a cycle of honeymoon crashing action films, is largely comprised of popular cinema technique -- in other words, it doesn't break any new ground. Nevertheless, director Benny Chan spends enough time walking along side his subjects (a team of EU officers led by recently disgraced/demoted detective Lau Ching-wan) that these otherwise one-dimensional characters appear interesting enough to ride shotgun with in their pursuit of Anthony Wong and Yu Rong Guang who share a fetish for killing cops.

The finale, obviously inspired by "Die Hard 2," is poorly edited together in a series of medium shots and close up's and not surprisingly succeeds at alienating the audience.

Comparatively, 1996 also saw the release of the first three "Young and Dangerous" films (touching off the "triad boyz" subgenre drawing continued critical ire) that further marketed triads to impressionable teenagers by way of heartthrob Ekin Cheng and "Big Bullet" players Jordan Chan, Francis Ng, Anthony Wong, and Spencer Lam.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: balstino
Date: 07/23/2002
Summary: Very Good, let down by pap ending.

I really liked this and thought the action was excellent and a lot like Heat. It has a clever array of characters with good dialogue and seems to mill along effortlessly. To my disappointment, the end was just below par (even with the nice final touch). They ruined it. If it wasn't for the that, everyone would be saying that the big heat was a notch above hollywood films. Oh well, it's their money.

Reviewed by: magic-8
Date: 06/15/2001
Summary: Memorable Action Film

"Big Bullet" is one of my favorite Benny Chan films, along with "Man Wanted." Now that DVDs are available for a large number of Hong Kong movies, we get to revisit them and see why we love 'em so. "Big Bullet" has all of the elements for a memorable action film; good pacing, a strong cast, and of course, the requisite action. With a title like "Big Bullet," we get gunfights and more gunfights. Lau Ching Wan heads the cast that features Francis Ng, Yu Rong Guang, Anthony Wong, and Jordan Chan. The Hong Kong cinema notables in the film help to quickly take us right into the heat of battle.

The plot is minimal, but with enough spice to keep the film moving from beginning to end. The top notch cast is really what makes this movie so enjoyable. Each member of the cast is playing off stereotypes, perfect for this HK actioner. Lau Ching Wan plays a cop, who will ultimately have a showdown with the Professor, the bad guy played by Yu Rong Guang, whose lead henchman is Anthony Wong. Each side has an arsenal of guns ablazing. "Big Bullet" is more mainstream than "Hard Boiled" and the gun glorification of early '90s heroic bloodshed films, but still packs a large wallop nonetheless. Although "Big Bullet" is fairly predictable, the action and the set up for the film's major set pieces does provide for enough diversion to sate any hardcore action fan.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: xiaoka
Date: 05/30/2001
Summary: I liked it!

A pretty fun movie... characters are pretty standard.. tough guy cop, weasel superior, ruthless bad guys, etc etc. Plot is pretty standard too - a little tighter than the average film maybe.

Good, solid, entertaining pop corn movie. I recommend it.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: hellboy
Date: 08/30/2000

A good crime drama with a keen eye for detail. Could the casting be any better? Nope. Not the most original story but it's kept alive by the characterization and action. The only flaw being the ending, it's seems like an entirely different movie to me, more set oriented than character driven. 8/10

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 07/23/2000
Summary: PRetty GOOD

Well since this movie is filled with reviews, i'll keep mine short!! There is actually character devwelopment in this movie and you know each member of the team (instead of them just being unknown characters, ready to be killed off any second)

Jordan Chan stands out in this movie and Lau Ching Wan is good too!!

Good action,characters where you will learn about their personalities and get to love (each individually.)
A GOOD FILM which scores:


Reviewed by: Dai Lo
Date: 04/13/2000

One slam-bang action ride, Lau Ching-wan plays Bill a hard nosed cop who gets re-assigned after assualting another officer. Placed with an interesting montley crew they on the trail of 2 smugglers. The pacing and character interaction are terrific. Jordan Chan shows he can play more than 'goo wat jai' roles, and Theresa Lee is infinitely cute as Apple. Although the end action sequence seemed a bit pasted together, it can easily be overlooked considering the fine acting by the lead actors.
(by man-kin chan)

Reviewed by: jun-yan
Date: 01/06/2000
Summary: The right mix

What makes this movie work is the right mixture of action and humor and good performances from all the actors. The action scenes are quite intense and heart-pounding and tight. The jokes work and feel right. The real life simulation is interesting. Some familiar portrait of police politics. The acting is of exceptional quality, especially Lau Ching-wan as the hot-tempered policeman and Jordan Chan as the straight arrow, by-the-book type. Good chemistry among the supporting cast. Maybe Anthony Wong was a little over-the-top as the Italian-speaking villain, but he was also very very cool! I recommend it!

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: SUPERCOP
Date: 12/27/1999
Summary: One of the best of 96'.....

Director Benny Chan Muk-sing once again proves why he is one of the most talented men working in the business, transforming an average screenplay into an enjoyable, action packed romp. Credit must also go out to Lau Ching-wan, Cheung Tat-ming, Jordan Chan Siu-chun, and Theresa Lee, who are just a few of the actors and actresses who light the screen up with their terrific group chemistry, while the baddest of the badasses, Yu Rong-guang and Anthony Wong Chau-sang are wise choices as the sadistic villains. Touches of light humor and some tension-filled action sequences are just a few of the perks featured in this production, and aside from a disappointing ending, this is one of the best pictures of 1996.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: jfierro
Date: 12/21/1999

Like ASIAN CONNECTION, this strength of this action film is not any incredible stuntwork (which is actually more confusing than anything), but in its well-written dialogue and fine interplay between actors. There is not a weak link in any member of the cast. Lau Ching-Wan excels in this type of driven-detective role, Cheung Tat-Ming and Lam Seung-Yi provide great comic relief, and for those who thought Jordan Chan can only play goof-offs, check his turn in this movie as a by-the-book career-minded cop. But by far the shining star of the movie is Theresa Lee, who as the gung-ho Canadian-born cop proves she can handle comic and action roles as well as dramatic roles. The plot may fly all over the place, but it's entertaining enough just to sit back and watch the actors play off each other. I couldn't help but think while enjoying this film that I might be watching the bright future of HK movies.

Reviewed by: hktopten
Date: 12/21/1999

One of the two Best Films of the year. A well filming, well written, well put together film with an outstanding cast. Lau Ching Wan and his friends (Dayo Wong Chi Wa, Anthony Wong Chau Sun, Francis Ng Chun Yu, Jordan Chan Siu Chun, Cheung Man Tat) had great chemistry before the film and their friendship shows in their performances. Theresa Lee plays her comedic role well (Though much like a female version of Michael Wong, her gag seems to be the foregin born Chinese surrounded by native HKers.), and I found myself cheering for innovative explosive scenes, something I haven't done since 1. the fan boys took over alt.asian-movies and 2. John woo's Hardboiled. Sure the ending was expected, but I feel better cheering for cops than a bunch of young gang members. Highly enjoyable.

Reviewed by: pablo
Date: 12/09/1999

After assaulting his superior officer, well decorated cop Bill getsreassigned to the less glamorous Emergency Unit. Circumstances put Bill on the trail of escaped international criminal Professor, and his accomplice Birdie. The mechanics of this film are truly mediocre - it's a standard plot with cookie cutter characters. But the enormously talented cast, subtly humourous script, and one very well choreographed action sequence make this film quite enjoyable. Lau Ching Wan is in top form, Jordan makes the best of his cliched character, Theresa shows the same energy she had in _What A Wonderful World_, and Spencer even gets to do some football play-by-play. Francis Ng Chun Yu doesn't ham it up, for once, and puts in a solid supporting role. If you enjoyed this film, you may enjoy _In The Heat Of Summer_ even more.