Beast Cops | Chicago Reader

Beast Cops

Gordan Chan and Dante Lam directed this 1998 police drama in which two Hong Kong cops—one squeaky clean, the other a corrupt veteran—are assigned to clean up a gang-infested district where chivalrous old gangsters are being replaced by vicious young punks. Though the film engages such issues as envy, honor, loyalty, and the futility of ambition, it lacks the psychological observation and emotional catharsis of John Woo's thrillers; instead the directors seem to be trying for a mood piece a la Wong Kar-wai, using handheld camera and grainy exposures to capture a chaotic milieu of street hustlers and casino operators. Unfortunately, the acting is wildly uneven, from Michael Wong?s irremediably wooden performance as the clean cop to Anthony Wong's insightful portrayal of the dirty one, a man who treats the mobsters on his watch like blood brothers.

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