The Story of a Discharged Prisoner ★★★★

Basically what would happen if the cast and crew of one of those Wong Fei-hung serials (the same villain (Shih Kien), one of the same choreographers (Lau Kar-wing) the same penchant for locking people in basements, the same reliance on ingenious devices, in this case a wardrobe containing a clown car's worth of anonymous henchmen) got together to make a noir-inflected social problem film. On the evidence of this one film, I guess that would make Patrick Lung Kong the Phil Karlson of Hong Kong.

Bears about as much relation to A Better Tomorrow as the Killer does to Le samouraï or Reservoir Dogs does to City on Fire. Which is to say, not much at all of what's really important in a movie.

Star Patrick Tse is the father of Nicholas Tse, who starred in Tsui Hark's Time and Tide, Ann Hui's Jade Goddess of Mercy and Wong Jing's From Vegas to Macau. Nicholas Tse also dated Faye Wong in the early 2000s and was later married to Cecilia Cheung.

Sean liked this review