Writer: Edith YeohWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Young and Dangerous,” “Election,” “PTU”
Having survived a shootout at the cinema with Simon Yam and Michael Miu, this reviewer lives to tell you how yet another under-90-minutes Hong Kong cops-and-gangsters story has bulleted itself to a cinema near you with amazing ease.
Even if you are tired of this genre, veterans like Simon Yam surely aren't. Applying the John Woo format we usually see Chow Yun Fatt in those days, "Black Ransom" is a flick that guarantees hi-definition blood and slo-mo bullets. Most of everything happens as quickly as they first started out. Even the ending seems like it's been chopped off due to some budget constraint. Of course, it was a lot of fun seeing bad guys getting more screen time than deserving good guys. If you need to summarise "Black Ransom", indulge us this suggestion: "Modern Day Robin Hood Gone (Really) Bad."
It feels as though the director (Keung Kwok Man) is having some pretty fancy ideas but fails in executing them. Another major negative is the inevitable casting of Mandarin-speaking actors that produces annoying dubbing problems. Syncing is noticeably bad and this takes out a lot of the enjoyment from the movie experience.
All in all, "Black Ransom" is a genre flick made for fans who would watch it anyway just for its stars and crime elements. If you're viewing this in a heavy censorship territory, you'll be glad to know that no cuts (if at all) are obvious and ironically it may be the audience who will be doing the butchering!Cinema Online, 26 January 2010