The Fatal Raid 不義之戰 (2019) - Hong Kong
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
The best thing about this action film is that it manages to bring back 90s Hong Kong action cinema stars namely Patrick Tam, Michael Tong and the much missed “Black Cat” heroine Jade Leung. Originally billed as the sequel to “Special Female Force”, Director Jacky Lee twists and turns with plenty of action set pieces that is often better than the over used slow motion direction and incoherent storyline. The result is a mixed bag, a reminder of former glory with the constraints of the budget required for action films and a very limited plot line dragged out to more than it should be. It’s an overall mediocre attempt, but for actions fans, there are moments to enjoy.
Patrick Tam gets a rare juicy and meaty leading role as he attempts to make more about his character deeper mental scars than the audience actually care about. Jade Leung is a terrific presence as she seems to be ageless from the 90s heyday and whenever she shoots a gun, and throw some kicks, there is a sense of aura to the scene. Michael Tong produces an over the top performance that is likely to annoy than impress. Jeana Ho and Hidy Yu impresses physically and are convincing as “girls with guns” sub-genre. “WeLend” advertising girl Lin Min-chen makes an exciting introduction to the big screen and manages to hold her own in most action scenes.
All in all, “The Fatal Raid” tries hard to remake the 90s action “girls with guns” sub-genre and remains on par with the previously attempt at “Special Female Force”. Putting aside some corny moments, slow motion overused and a lack of story to truly care about, we get a decent action film with plenty of stunts to be excited about. Still, it is also a timely reminder that action films of this scale requires a lot of time and budget to shoot and the lack of both is evident in the final product of the film. As for the return of Jade Leung, let’s hope for “Black Cat Returns” next.
I rated it 6.5/10