Another great crime flick at Firecracker this evening, this time from Johnnie To and one night on the streets of Hong Kong with the Police Tactical Unit. This is a standout movie - the opening sequence is an instant classic as protagonists run into antagonists and seemingly insignificant extras step up and push the film where you least expect it. It's grim, it's funny and it's exciting - exactly the kind of flick you'd expect from Johnnie To and thanks to Firecracker's excellent sense of timing it makes the perfect Friday late-night flick.
Simon Yam is as good here as anything he's ever done as the head of a PTU patrolling the darkened and eerily empty streets. When he commits his team to aid a fellow officer whose gun has been stolen by gang rather than make a report events are set in motion that will bring a bloody resolution along with the dawn.
Misplaced mobile phones, a gang leader forced to drive his own taxi to hospital with a knife shoved between his shoulder blades, a car with a very individual paint job and some fine attention to detail (who knew when it rains that police trucks take to the streets to hand out waterproofs?) all add up to a one of a kind evening and the great cast make it a pleasure to watch things go wrong.
Plus who can fail to enjoy a movie with characters called Ponytail, Eyeball and Baldhead? And it'll make you think twice about the best place to sit the next time you fancy a late night snack in Chinatown...
PTU plays tonight at 11:15pm at the Curzon Soho.
Full Firecracker details and the showcase trailer can be found here.