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龍在邊緣 (1999)
Century of the Dragon

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 09/08/2007
Summary: tight-necked...

sing (louis koo) was plucked from the police academy and placed into an undercover role in the triads. he is the right-hand man of fai-lone (andy lau), the former boss of hung hing, who has been a legitimate business man for the last five years. when pau (anthony wong), the current head of hung hing, is hospitalised, his son, chun (patrick tam), steps into the spotlight and begins to create problems which seem to be drawing fai-lone back into the underworld.

clarence fok directs a script from wong jing; perhaps one of wong's best scripts. combining two, fairly, standard hong kong narratives; undercover cop begins to question where his loyalties lie and ambitious youngster creates internal chaos in order to gain control of the triads, but doing it very well, wong provides the basis for a solid triad drama. on top of this foundation, fok does a good job; knowing when to hold back and when to go all out, building a gritty drama that relies more on character than spectacle.

louis koo, who i seem to really like, does a good job, but it is andy lau, who i must compliment here. he does a good job of playing the charming, successful, business man, which is something that i imagine doesn't take much effort but, when he has to show the side of him that used to be a triad boss, he really pulls it out of the bag. the look he gives a cop, when his friendly, and reasonable, request (to allow a son to see his hospitalised father) is refused, probably ranks with the best acting that he's ever done.

patrick tam and a whole host of triad movie favourites (frankie ng, anthony wong and lee siu-kei) provide excellent support and there's also good roles for the ladies. shooky kwan, who plays fai-lone's wife is much more than a trophy on his arm and proves she's pretty badass with a knife in her hand, whilst joey mandoes well as sing's girlfriend cunning and sassy girlfriend.

a good, solid, entertaining production.

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 07/20/2005
Summary: A good triad movie

Taken straight from the Hong Kong Police Academy and sent to infiltrate one of the most murderous triads, a young trainee police officer is on his own. With no support from the police establishment and only one contact among the command officers he spends years living a double life while working his way into the confidence of the triad leadership.

It sounds like “Infernal Affairs” and even shares Andy Lau and Anthony Wong with IA, but was made three years earlier. “Century of the Dragon’s” is best when showing the gritty, seamy side of triad life—the strong victimize the weak, the leaders try to keep their subordinates in check while the underlings do everything they can to weaken their bosses. There is as much conflict within the gangs as there is between them.

Andy Lau is Fei-loong, a former triad leader who has gone straight. He hosts big charity bashes, runs international companies and keeps his hands clean. Unfortunately, his triad connections are very sticky—old gangster buddies show up at the worst times. As Chi-shing, Louis Koo is the young cop who is deep undercover among the triad thugs and whose target was Fei-loong. When Chi-shing realizes that Fei-loong actually is what he seems to be—an honest businessman who has broken with his gangster past—he is unable to resolve the contradictions. When his contact within the police force is replaced with a possibly corrupt and definitely brutal cop his problems increase.

Suki Kwan is terrific as the perfect wife for a former triad kingpin. Attractive, sexy, tough, unquestioningly loyal, willing to die for her husband—just about everything one could ask for. Joey Man is a hooker who not only has a heart of gold but is courageous and smart—she is both decorative and effective.

An above average entry in the crowded triad field.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/19/2003

Century of the Dragon is a solid Triad movie that should please fans of the genre. Even though I was a bit disappointed that it didn't fully deliver all the ultra-violence I would expect from a Clarence Fok/Wong Jing production, Century of the Dragon still delivered the goods. The film isn't anything really great, but it's always nice to see a solid crime flick once in a while, and Century of the Dragon accomplishes that.

The story has Andy Lau as a semi-retired Triad boss who has his right-hand man (Anthony Wong) take care of the dirty work. Along with his wife (Suki Kwan), Andy is quickly making himself into a legitimate buisnessman. However, the old life won't let him go. After Anthony is taken out in a gang battle, his son (Patrick Tam) goes out for revenge and plots to bankrupt Andy.

This is pretty standard HK crime stuff, but things are helped along by a tight script helmed by Wong Jing. The performances from the actors are also good. Of particular note are Andy Lau, who actually manages to convey some emotion, instead of coming off as a smary smart-ass as with so many of his roles, and Anthony Wong. Wong's work of late has been very uneven, but he always seems to try more in smaller roles like this, and he does fine here. Suki (aka "Shooky") Kwan also does a nice job; she is really believeable as Andy's tough (but not too tough) wife.

One part where Century of the Dragon does fall short in is the action. Some of the best parts of these kinds of movies is seeing grisly wounds inflicted by oversized choppers, and Century of the Dragon just doesn't have all the impact you would normally expect. Sure, there are a couple of spurts of blood, but come on, this is a Wong Jing movie! We want that stuff squirting out!

Anyway, if you're a fan of Triad movies or Andy Lau, you should check out Century of the Dragon. It's not the most original film and it does have its' share of problems. But for die-hard HK crime movie junkies, Century of the Dragon is a film well worth watching.

Note: Century of the Dragon has nothing to do with the Mickey Rourke film Year of the Dragon, which is a bit of a shock, given Wong Jing's past track record of using older movies as "inspiration".

Reviewed by: Dyogenez
Date: 05/11/2002
Summary: A better story

After watching the entire Y&D, watching this was a welcomed change. It has much more of a defined storyline, and with more violence with a reason. It starts with an undercover cop being sent to nail Fai-lone, the lead boss of the Hung Hing triad. He learns that Fai-lone is no longer a triad boss, but he is straight. As there is still corruption in the group, the undercover cop and Fai-lone have the same target in mind and must eliminate the betrayer.

Only knowing that this film had Andy Lau in it was enough to draw me to watch. It turned out to be well worth it. The acting by him and number of the girls, including his wife in the girls, is great. Many of the guys play 'strong' emotionless characters with some room for deveolpment. The story is at least original, although most of it dragged on too slow. There isn't much action, but the dialog and situations are enough to sty interested most of the time. 8/10

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 04/14/2002
Summary: Very good

Starts off slow, but soon becomes very enjoyable. Andy Lau is excellent as ever in this. If you like crime films, this must be seen.

Rating: 4/5

Reviewed by: tdockweiler
Date: 02/10/2002

A slightly above average Triad film. I'll admit for me, the first 50 minutes were not as good as they could have been and were somewhat slow going at first. Luckily after the first half things just kept getting better and better. The story as like most movies I've seen recently is nothing new at all and I felt like i've seen it done a million times before but I didn't care.

For some reason it did feel like something in the Young and Dangerous series, but with a little more action, but I definitely would NOT consider this anywhere near an action films that's for sure. As a comparision, to me it was better than part 1 in that series, but not quite as good as part 2.

The acting by everywhere was ok, but the worst being that from Patrick Tam, but at least I ended up hating his character, but that is how it was supposed to be! I think my favorite character in the movie was by far Andy Lau's. The movie would definitely not be as good without him. I never thought i'd be saying something like that!

Well, as I mentioned the last half is what makes this film a little above average. They seemed to have come up with some good ideas and took the time to make a decent ending. I was expecting something much worse and your typical Hong Kong style of ending that i'm used to seeing.

Anyway, I enjoyed the movie and felt the best parts were past the first hour. Probably worth a rental, or if you really like this type of movie then maybe worth purchasing. I'll admit though it's a film I'll probably forget I even saw a year from now.


Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: SOJay
Date: 07/02/2001
Summary: Interesting to say the least........

It would appear that DC's Cathy and I watched the same broadcast of the Hong Kong Movie Express. I enjoyed this one and if you like the Triad genre definetly check it out. I was glad to see that the characters were actually given some depth and a genuine range of emotions (although I have to say that Anthony Wong was greatly under-used). Andy Lau and Louis Koo are both very good and the direction was delivered with a great deal of style.

-Jay Grinder

Reviewed by: cathy in dc
Date: 06/30/2001

As triad movies go, this one was well done. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the genre, but I liked Andy Lau in Running out of Time, so I watched this movie. I thought Andy Lau (Fei Lone), Louis Koo (the undercover cop) and Patrick Tam (the hellbent on revenge son of Anthony Wong's character) turned in good performances. Anthony wong is featured prominently in the opening credits, but basically spends the movie in a vegitative state. My main complaint about the movie is the pacing. Because the movie seemed to focus more on the psychological elements, such as Andy Lau trying to walk a line between going straight, taking care of triad busines and not having the others think he's gone soft, or the two undercover cops who've been undercover for so long they are conflicted as to whom they owe more loyalty, the police or their traid broothers, and as a result, I thought it dragged a bit, even though it wasn't particularly long. Things really pick up in the last 20 minutes and oddly enough the main action sequences are carried by a supporting character, Fei Lone's wife Daisy, played by Suki Kwan. She holds off and escapes from a large number of her husband's enemies using machetes and molotov cocktails among other things.

I watcehd this movie on TV, and on the whole, I was not particularly upset I'd stayed up from 1-3am to watch this movie. However, for people who don't particularly like triad movies, I wouldn't recommend it, unless they were big fans of Andy Lau.

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 05/08/2001
Summary: Better than i expected

I am not a Andy Lau fan but this movie was quite good!! Lots of stars in this but towards the end the suspense wains..............but worth watching!!


Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 03/30/2000
Summary: 1999 was a good year

[1999 was a good year.] After finishing at the HK police academy Officer Wong Chi Sing [Louis Koo] is sent undercover to infiltrate the notorious Hung Hing Society. Big Brother Fai [Andy Lau] is the de facto leader of Hung Hing but he has been trying to ‘go straight’ with legitimate business ventures and charity work. During an attack on a rival triad’s turf, the police wound the Hung Hing leader in everyday affairs, Fai’s life long buddy, Brother Pao [Anthony Wong]. Although he has been straight for more than 5 years, this shooting, as well as challenges from hostile underlings, draws Fai back to the ‘dark side’.

The script by Wong Jing is full of nasty triad challenges and revenges. Clarence Fok’s unique directorial style is perfect in realizing the nuances of the taut script. Andy Lau is once again brilliant, as he must walk the line between the cops who think he’s a crook and the triad bosses who think he’s gone soft. Louis Koo gives a decent performance as the cop who is suspected by his superior of having ‘gone bad’ and has to struggle between ‘doing his job’ and the ‘brotherly bond’ he has developed with his ‘assignment’ Fai. Suki Kwan, called ‘Shooky’ in the credits, gives her best performance yet as Fai's wife, a former club girl with a heart of gold who can kick major ass as well.

In 1999, the Hong Kong film industry gave us a lot of ‘triad’ movies, which has been a popular genre with local cinemagoers. Century of the Dragon is one of the best of the bunch. The film is well produced and the cinematography is, at times, brilliant, which is typical of a Clarence Fok film.

© 2000 J. Crawford

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: ryan
Date: 11/21/1999
Summary: Century of the Dragon (1999)

Andy LAU is very active in the film business this year. Last Christmas LAU was in 'The Conman.' This year he did 'Prince Charming' in April, 'The Conmen in Vegas' in June and 'Running Out of Time' in September. All of the movies grossed over $15m. Now he has another movie 'Century of the Dragon,' from Jing's Productions. This time out he's cast with a new generation of actors in triad roles, like Louis KOO Tin-lok and Patrick TAM Yiu-man. Will this be good for the movie?

'Century of the Dragon' is a story centered around LUNG Yat-fei, a.k.a., Fei-lone (Andy LAU Tak-wah), who was once the head of triad gang Hung Hing. He retired from the gang and started a business, which has been in operation for the last ten years. He had a good time with his wife, Daisy (Shooky KWAN Sau-mei), his mom (PAU Hey-ching) and his son, Henry. Police Constable WONG Chi-shing (Louis KOO Tin-lok) was given a special task, as a undercover cop, to catch Fei-lone by joining his society. He becomes Fei-lone's helping hand. Fei-lone's friend, TONG Pau (Anthony WONG Chau-sang), was disabled in an action. His son, TONG Man-chun (Patrick TAM Yiu-man), takes over Pau's place. Man-chun is ambitious as he joins up with MA (NG Chi-hung) to take over Fei-lone's place....

The story of 'Century of the Dragon' is quite complex with lots of sub-plots. Fei-lone is the core of the movie, while the story covers the people around him and the conflicts of each within Hung Hing. Despite the complexity, the movie is able to present the story clearly. You get an explanation for each charater and why they are there.

However, the problem of the movie is that the plot is not very remarkable. Maybe there are too many characters in the movie, with a story that is too complex for only 92 minutes. Some of the themes could be further developed. For example, the movie shows the bad relationship between Chi-shing and Man-chun. Their conflict could have been strengthened by having a sub-plot that outlined their competition for Chi-shing's girlfriend, Jo Jo (Joey MAN Sze-man).

In terms of Andy LAU's performance, he's gives what audience's expect. His role looks very close to what he did last year in 'Dragon of Mob.' It is a bit surprising to see Shooky KWAN Sau-mei take part in some of the action scenes. Her performance, along with Louis KOO Tin-lok's were okay, though it looks like what he did in 'Rules of the Game.'

Out of all the performers, Patrick TAM Yiu-man and LAU Shek-yin are impressive. Patrick TAM Yiu-man has been in TV dramas and movies as a baddy. This time he shows how a well-educated guy controls the whole revenge process. His facial expressions were also good enough to enhance his performance. LAU Shek-yin, who has been in a Chinastar TV series this year, plays his role well, as a traid member without principle. The movie would have been more complete if LAU was allowed a greater role.

On the whole, 'Century of the Dragon' is a story based on the happenings around a retired triad head. Though the story itself is complex, it could have been presented more clearly. It would have beeen better if there were more details to each of the character's interactions. The performances of Andy LAU, Shooky KWAN and Louis KOO were okay, while the those of Patrick TAM Yiu-man and LAU Shek-yin were remarkable.