The Attorney 一級指控 (2019) - Hong Kong
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
“The Attorney” is a tight and efficient legal thriller that fills a much needed void in the Hong Kong cinema market. Director Wong Kwok Fai shines in creating a tightly gripped and tense character study of the human and moral condition. Similar to many of the lawsuits and fight for legal justice movies of the early 90s Hong Kong cinema and more recently contemporary Korean cinema featuring big stars in landmark cases against the establishments.
Here we get a similar premises, legal justice at sake and how a jaded veteran lawyer (played expertly by Alex Fong) defying conventions and caught in an infernal of a political conspiracy. Carlos Chan performs well as the idealistic young lawyer and veteran award winner Nina Paw does sensationally well in the role of victim’s grandma. What we get is a deep character exploration particularly on the complex layered presented by Fong as he power though a society dominated by the rich and powerful and further highlighted hat justice cannot be achieved simply by playing by the rules. Stay tune for some scene stealing performances from Liu Kai Chi and Patrick Tam.
Whilst not entirely perfect, the film contains a tightly knitted plot line and plenty of engaging characters as we witness how the rule of law and legal justice system gets twisted around plays itself in order to achieve a notion of the word “justice”. What makes this film works, while others have failed in the past, is the subtlety in the plot line and characters that we eventually cared about. In the days of lacking these kind of genre movies in Hong Kong cinema, “The Attorney” more than fills this void.
I rated it 8/10
Reviewed at HK Film Mart 2019 (Distributed by Golden Scene)