"Like any good Milkyway movie, you pretty much know what to expect and will unlikely be disappointed."
Breaking News (2004)
Director: Johnnie To Kei-Fung
Writer: Chan Hing-Kai, Yip Tin-Shing
Producer: Johnnie To Kei-Fung, Cao Biao
Cast: Richie Ren, Kelly Chen, Nick Cheung Ka-Fai, Eddie Cheng Siu-Fai, Hui Siu-Hung, You Yong, Ding Hai-Feng, Li Hai-Tao, Simon Yam Tat-Wah, Maggie Siu Mei-Kei
Running Time: 89 min.
Plot: See review below.
EQUINOX21'S REVIEW: Breaking News, one of Johnny To's best this ain't, but it's certainly FAR from his worst. Coming on the heels of his critically acclaimed PTU, and his mostly overlooked (though thoroughly enjoyable) Turn Left, Turn Right, Breaking News depicts the most intense, large scale shoot-outs put to film in years.
The plot is pretty simple and straight forward. It revolves around a group of Mainlanders who plan on committing a heist. The police are casing them, getting ready to break up the party once they start their crime spree, when two beat cops try to bust them for a minor traffic offense. Things go wrong. Very wrong. There's a large shootout in the streets of Hong Kong, leaving a few cops and one mainland thug dead. After a small car chase, the shootout makes its way into the view of local news reporters filming an unrelated event. The debacle, making the police look incompetant and useless, convinces the police force to bring in their own PR people to turn the tides of public opinion in their favor as they hunt down the remaining mainland criminals.
Like any good Milkyway movie, you pretty much know what to expect and will unlikely be disappointed. To, again, cast Milkyway regulars Lam Suet (as a hostage), Hui Shiu-Hung (as, surprise, surprise, a cop!) and Simon Yam (just a cameo in one scene as the police chief). Kelly Chen and Nick Cheung do well as the cops trying to find the mainlanders, who are led by Yuan (played by Richie Ren).
As action packed as this flick is, and with the thousands of bullets seemingly flying through the streets of HK, there are surprisingly few people actually getting killed. This seems to make it, in my opinion, more realistic. In real shootouts, you don't see people taking bullets between the eyes. Even in huge gun fights, people aren't usually hit because the adrenalin keeps people from aiming properly. This movie seems to depict this quite well, with large one-shot gun fights and few people getting outright killed.
I am happy to recommend this Johnny To movie to all fans of HK films. It's quite a good commentary on modern media and how it helps determine events that affect our lives. And in a related storey, exclusively on COF Live at 10, "fuck Fox News."
EQUINOX21'S RATING: 8/10