To Where He Belongs | Chicago Reader

To Where He Belongs

Ally Wong's 2000 gangster melodrama about a turf war in a Hong Kong tenement district revives the old formula of an aging hood (Simon Yam of Bullet in the Head) clashing with yet protecting his hotheaded protege (Steven Ma). Wong pumps up the violence (the scenes of combat and torture are truly vicious) and uses Cantonese hip-hop and jarring visuals reminiscent of Wong Kar-wai to convey a chaotic underworld no longer ruled by honor and loyalty. The film drags while establishing the various relationships and the squalid milieu, and its ending is lame, but the unwitting love triangle among the two men and a tough, petulant shop girl (Gigi Lai) yields a quirky and penetrating portrait of people bonded by fatalism and sardonic humor. 89 min.

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