Throw Down | Chicago Reader

Throw Down

This deliberate, meditative drama (2004), made by director Johnny To as an homage to Akira Kurosawa, stars Louis Koo as Szeto Bo, a former judo master who's forsaken his craft and deteriorated into a boozing, self-destructive karaoke-club owner. Though at first he's content to throw his earnings away gambling, his self-esteem is gradually restored after the arrival of a mediocre but boundlessly optimistic pop singer and a younger judo master obsessed with cajoling him out of his retirement. To shows finesse in delaying Szeto's reawakening: the film is almost over before he decides he wants to fight again. In the interval is a nimble variation on several genres, a martial-arts film and a crime film folded into a character study of self-destructive behavior. With Aaron Kwok. In Cantonese with subtitles. 95 min.

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