Brother Tung is a borderline cop and triad brother whose best friend, is a triad elder, named Big Brother is on the run after an assassination that he set up. Upon his departure his right hand man, called Pushy-Pin, assumes the role of power to lead the gang. At the same time Brother/officer Tung is given a new commanding officer named Cheung. The group of cops and triads end up unwillingly participating in violent conflicts between them.
There's nothing like viewing a Hong Kong movie that brings the cinematic punch that made them all the midnight cravings that we avid cinema Asian junkies devoured . Don't be fooled by the cover art, this is not an action film but more of a character-driven drama. Gordon Chan and Dante Lam along with screenwriter Chan Hing-Kai have constructed the most original and arresting films of the corrupt cops and Triad genre in Hong Kong Cinema. The film is able to balance numerous subplots that end up being extremely rewarding.
Now I understand why everyone smiles when they see the name Anthony Wong in the credits. He is extremely captivating in the film as Brother Tung: a man that uses respect, care, humor, and violence sparingly and effectively. Roy Cheung is exceptionally the best when it comes to playing Triad elders that question the meaning of honor and respect in this day and age. Sam Lee plays one of Tung's fellow police officers would be labeled as comic relief only he is appropriate for this because his humor, like the film, is quite eccentric yet sleazy. Now on to the actor whom many people look down upon Michael Fitzgerald Wong. In all honesty one would think that this character was made to mock his characters from the Option series because of the fact that Cheung is made fun of in the film consistently since he speaks in Cantonese mixed with the occasional English phrase. Either Way he doesn't ham up the film and carries on through out it rather nicely. Kathy Chau ends up succeeding as an ex-prostitute that runs the nightclub where the Triads gather and also as the love interest. Tam Yiu Man, plays Pushy Pin, was excellent at portraying Big Brother's right handed man who "aspires"(has conflicting emotions about wanting it and having it forced upon) to become a Triad Leader.
As mentioned early the film is more of a character-driven drama but that does not mean that is empty of action in fact the last half is nothing but it. The action though is quite different than what you would expect; very few moments of gunplay but a vast amount of it involves knives and axes. In my opinion the creators of the film did this intentionally to make it belvieable, realistic, and show how modern triads are just regular thugs. Whatever reason when the action occurs your eyes are wide open due to the choregraphy, simpilistic yet effective, cinematography and the editing. The Dramatic part of the film owes all of its credit to the cast because with out these select actors and actresses the film would never have taken the shape that it has.
What the film also has to its advantage is the fresh twists that it mixes into the storyline. Take for example the setting: It revolves around backdrop for youth so it incorporates dance nightclubs, arcades, fast-food joints and gambling houses. Also with how the film clearly states how the teenagers in the triads are basic local thugs that have no aim in life, speak to one another in inane conversation i.e. "man did you see slice that old man's arm his blood sprayed s traight up…. it was cool", and accept the image of a triad member but none of the responsibilities or consequences. . Lastly, the film confronts the cliché elements of this genre and twists them suitable for its logic (example if the corrupt cop does decide to clean up his ways it will be for all the wrong yet humanly accepted reasons).
The English subtitles of Beast Cops are extremely well done accept for one little tidbit. Sometimes, and I don't know if this was done on purpose, the English is incorrect as far as grammar is concerned. Yet I don't know if this was done to show how the young criminal crowds communicate with one another or if it is bad subtitling. Beast Cops is a well-made film that breathes new life into an old and conventional film genre.
The DVD is distributed by MegaStar and is region less. It comes loaded with three different audio tracks (Cantonese, Madarin, and English), eight subtitling options (Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, Bahasa Malaysia, Thai, and Spanish). The picture quality is nothing short of excellent and is letterboxed. It also contains talent files mixed with very small video clips of the actors on the set, directors'trailers, and a trailer combination of other Media-Asia films.