Here's a pretty gritty HK action flick that I feel could've held some real potential if they hadn't attempted to throw religion into the mix. It goes from potential classic to somewhat mediocre somewhere along the line: maybe when religion becomes the theme rather than a key ingredient to forward the plot.
The first time the Bible was mentioned, just in passing, as something that 'Christians believed in' I was a little amused that the concept of Christianity isn't that obvious to some/most/many (?) Asians, but then all of a sudden they have a Christian wedding, the main character (former triad boss - attempting to better himself and live a decent life) makes all types of vows and confessions and comes to realizations and all that awesome action somehow falls in shadow of faith.
Don't get me wrong - I have nothing against religion. I believe it could've been an inspiring element but towards the end there's just too much. I also want want logic and clarity. I want to feel compassion for the main characters and both respect and relate to their decisions, but when religion takes over it's somehow beyond my control and I'm no longer as actively engaged in the story as I could have been.
The movie has some awesome action, intense gunfights and fistfights and bloody uncomfortable bloody scenes. It has plenty of relationship drama, strong personalities and conflict. It's a killer thriller with both tragedy and true love, at times bordering on cheesy, but along with the somewhat generic drama there is also a tale of vengeance brewing in the background, and incidents that leave everyone affected. It's real close to a 4. Good watch.
rated 3/5: not bad