ORGANIZED CRIME & TRIAD BUREAU offers a trio of interesting leads and lots of location action to dress up a strictly routine cops-and-robbers chase thriller. The second in a trilogy of Hong Kong crime films by Che-Kirk Wong, it was preceded by CRIME STORY (1993), with Jackie Chan, and
followed by ROCK 'N' ROLL COP (1994), with Anthony Wong--both of which were far superior.
Inspector Lee (Danny Lee) of the Organized Crime and Triad Bureau (OCTB) sets his sights on armed robber Tung (Anthony Wong), who has eluded capture by holing up with his volatile mistress, Cindy (Cecilia Yip), and three henchmen on Cheung Chau Island off Hong Kong. After roughing up other
suspects in order to learn Tung's whereabouts, OCTB is faced with brutality complaints from CAPO, the Hong Kong Police Department's Internal Affairs Division.
By tapping the phone of Tung's wife, the police manage to piece together enough clues to determine Tung's location. They raid Cheung Chau Island and conduct an all-out search, failing to turn up either Tung or Cindy, until a local funeral party arouses suspicion. Tung is found inside the coffin
Still at large, Cindy works with Tung's confederates and a pair of corrupt cops to engineer Tung's escape from jail. Finally, a failed escape attempt in court serves as a ruse which enables Cindy and a henchman to hijack the police van taking Tung back to jail. In hot pursuit, Lee orders the
traffic signals turned off, causing a massive tie-up which forces the fugitives to flee on foot.
After a lengthy chase and shoot-out, the three fugitives take a store owner hostage, leading to a tense standoff. Lee, who has already earned Tung's respect from their previous encounters, enters the store alone and unarmed and finds all three criminals seriously wounded. Tung gets Lee to promise
lenient treatment for Cindy. Tung then takes Cindy's hidden gun and shoots himself.
As Lee walks away, officers from CAPO demand an explanation for Tung's death, but are beaten up by Lee's men as the press corps deliberately look the other way.
For fans of Hong Kong crime films, Che-Kirk Wong's work ranks third after that of directors John Woo (HARD-BOILED) and Ringo Lam (CITY ON FIRE). Unlike Wong's earlier films, OCTB never quite pulls its narrative strands together to make a dramatic point.
The characters are all weakly drawn and give us no reason to care about them. Tung never strikes us as a formidable villain because we never see him commit any crimes other than a jewelry store robbery seen briefly in flashback. Yip's tortured gang moll is the most compelling character, while both
Lee (CITY ON FIRE) and Anthony Wong (HARD-BOILED) have played far more interesting characters in similar fare.
Despite the poor script, this film is extremely lively and well-directed, boasting the gritty feel for location action shooting that distinguishes the best Hong Kong crime films. Ultimately, however, the frenetic proceedings add up to little more than one long chase, with no point other than an
occasional dig at Hong Kong's Internal Affairs division. (Violence, sexual situations, profanity.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: ORGANIZED CRIME & TRIAD BUREAU offers a trio of interesting leads and lots of location action to dress up a strictly routine cops-and-robbers chase thriller. The second in a trilogy of Hong Kong crime films by Che-Kirk Wong, it was preceded by CRIME STORY… (more)