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Film Review: Long Arm of the Law (省港旗兵) (1984) - Hong Kong (2K) (Blu Ray) (88 Films)

Andrew Chan

Film Review: Long Arm of the Law (省港旗兵) (1984) - Hong Kong (2K) (Blu Ray) (88 Films)


Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)


Gritty, brutal, and grippingly realistic, “Long Arm of the Law” is a masterpiece of Hong Kong crime cinema. Directed by the visionary Johnny Mak, this 1984 thriller offers a stark, documentary-style exploration of the criminal underworld, following a group of undocumented Chinese migrants as they build their own illicit empire in the shadows of the city.


Mak's assured direction is the driving force, with his camera capturing the stark urban landscapes and intense, visceral action sequences with a level of immediacy that puts the audience right in the thick of the chaos. The ensemble cast delivers nuanced, morally complex portrayals of characters caught up in a web of desperation and sociopolitical tensions.


As the cat-and-mouse game between the outlaws and the police intensifies, the film presents a compelling examination of the desperation that can drive individuals to such extreme measures. Topical and unflinching in its depiction of violence, “Long Arm of the Law” stands as a touchstone of the Hong Kong crime thriller genre, influencing countless subsequent films and cementing Mak's reputation as a true auteur.


A must-see for fans of gritty, hard-hitting cinema, “Long Arm of the Law” is a cinematic masterpiece that deserves to be counted among the greatest crime films of its era.


I rated it 9/10


Reviewed as part of the 2 Movies Boxset (2K Restore) (Blu Ray) (88 Films)

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