Sunday, June 26, 2011
Black ransom is brought to you by the writer and director team of Wong Jing and Keung Kwok Man, the duo responsible for 2007's Bullet and brain. If that doesn't exactly fill you with confidence then I don't think anyone would blame you!
Mann (Simon Yam) is a former top cop, relegated down the ranks after struggling to deal with the death of his wife, all he has left is a teenage daughter, oh and some jedi like powers he calls "The feeling". Mann is called upon to investigate a series of ransom kidnappings of prominent triad members, when the kidnappers lead by ex cop Sam (Michael Miu) take out the cocky A team of cops assigned to the case. Mann uses the feeling to puzzle out the case and try to take down Sam's team of vigilante kidnappers. This being a Wong Jing script, it's all full of holes and seriously convoluted by the finale.
Black ransom isn't a terrible film, it has a few decent action sequences, particularly a sniper scene. The actors are mostly pretty good with a supporting cast including Fala Chen, Andy On, Liu Yang and Xing Yu. On the other hand it's not a good film either, it feels lazy, unconvincing, over earnest and pretty laughable in places. In fairness the laughable parts help to keep the film reasonably entertaining, otherwise it's so straight faced that the unintentional humour is very welcome. Although it does stop you taking the drama element of the movie seriously.
Most of this humour comes from Mann's feeling powers, as good an actor as Simon Yam undoubtedly is I'm not sure he knew quite how to play this part of the role. He's fine in the dramatic and action parts of the movie, but when it comes to the feeling moments, he alternates between looking in deep concentration, confused and heavily constipated or pregnant (maybe both). I'm not sure what else he could have done with it but the result is pretty funny.
A passably entertaining action thriller then but certainly nothing to get excited about, I'd say file under time killer. It's an improvement on Bullet and brain, so at least Keung Kwok Man is heading in the right direction but if you have seen that movie you will know that isn't saying much!