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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  Full Contact (1993) « previous next »
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Author Topic: Full Contact (1993)  (Read 1513 times)
Neville
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« on: July 15, 2007, 04:59:08 PM »



Yes, this is one of those Hong Kong action movies. The main difference being that this one is great.

You know, I was quite drawn to HK action films back in the 90s, when everybody spoke of John Woo and how awesome he was. Truth be told, I bought that too, and I still like some of his HK Heroic Bloodshed days, although in smaller doses than back then. But time has gave me more perspective, and I don't enjoy those kind of films as much. Shootouts don't look that awesome, and the films look way cornier.

The good thing with perspective is that now I can look to other movies that I didn't bother to look at back then, and now and then I happen to stumble upon a gem, like this film.

First things first, yep, it's a HK action film, but not a Heroic Bloodshed one. At the helm is HK veteran Ringo Lam. Which is good news, for a number of reasons. First of all, he's easily the HK whose camerawork resembles more a western filmmaker. Here you'll see few of the low budget techniques that often jarr HK action movies. His pacing is never too sluggish nor too rushed, and his use of editing is simply flawless.

The second good reason is that Ringo Lam cares more about his characters than other HK filmmakers. Don't take me wrong, the script has its share of disposable characters, but the main character is very well depicted. Which takes me to Chow Yun Fat. Simply put, he's brilliant here. He plays Jeff, a criminal with a short fuse. More or less that's it, but it's a joy to watch him in action. He's quite scary when he retorts to violence, which is often, and his outbursts are very credible. Between this and "Curse of the golden flower" I'm starting to believe western critics have been too harsh on Chow Yun Fat for the last decade. After all, his roles were rather bad.

The plot? Your standard "Payback" clone. No surprises here, really, but this is easily Ringo Lam's more action packed movie, so you won't be bored. Actually, the action scenes in the first third are easily among the best I've seen in a HK film. And Lam's interest for characters extends even to the supporting ones, which are few but rather colourful, another first time for a HK action film.

Way to go. What can I say? Rent it, or buy it if you are into HK action films. There are no acrobatics here, but a true crime film as action packed as it can be without stopping being a crime film instead of an action one. Plus what probably is Chow Yun Fat's best acting ever, which is something to consider. 
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Due to the horrifying nature of this film, no one will be admitted to the theatre.
Jim H
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2007, 12:30:01 PM »

Quote
Between this and "Curse of the golden flower" I'm starting to believe western critics have been too harsh on Chow Yun Fat for the last decade. After all, his roles were rather bad.

They were harsh on the roles, but I don't recall to much knocking on the actor himself.  But yeah, his American roles have been pretty awful.  He's one of the best actors around...  Some of his better performances, that I've seen would include All About Ah Long, Hong Kong 1941, and A Better Tomorrow.

Quote
The plot? Your standard "Payback" clone.

Payback?  I'd say Point Break (either the film or the novel it is based on), since both are clearly based on it.  And to be fair, Full Contact is several years older.

Quote
Actually, the action scenes in the first third are easily among the best I've seen in a HK film.

They're also fairly believable.  While the ludicrous nature of many HK action scenes is clearly deliberate, sometimes realism is a nice change.  It's also interesting to note that Ringo Lam handles action extremely well, but usually his films are actually pretty light on the action compared to most of his contemporaries.

I quite enjoy Full Contact as well.  It's dark and dreary, but that suits the film quite well.  I also feel Simon Yam deserves a mention, as his performance as the flamboyant lead villain is excellent.  Anthony Wong is also good as Chow's friend.


SPOILER BELOW!



Trivia note: the references to Chow Yun-Fat's eyes by Simon Yam would have had a bit more pep if one deleted scene had made it in.  One of the things Simon Yam wanted Anthony Wong to do after killing Chow was cut out his eyes and bring them to him as proof.  He cut the eyes out of one of the dead people in the home instead.  You can see his hand clenched close as if he is holding something in them as he walks out of the burning building - the eyes in question.  Simon Yam grabs them and eats them (!).  Too gruesome, maybe, even for this film?




*END*

Not my favorite HK action film, but definitely amongst the top.  I also have to agree it has a higher degree of polish than most HK films ESPECIALLY from this era. 

And on a final note, I really like the main guitar theme for the film.
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TheFilmFiend
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2007, 01:01:06 AM »

I bought this flick sight unseen and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was refreshing to see a Ringo Lam picture that DIDN'T star Jean-Claude Van Damme for a change.
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