Born Wild- -
Upon discovering that his estranged twin brother Lok has died, Joe's investigation of Lok's troubled past sends him to the world of underground boxing, where he suspects the opponent killed Lok during a bout. Sorely Joe finds himself unleashing his own animalistic instincts as he comes face to face with his brother's possible killer.
Tide wakes at home on Cheung Chau Island to find two policemen at his door with news that his twin brother Tan has been beaten to death.
Six months pass but the police fail to determine Tan’s killer. They hand over the keys to Tan’s apartment, where Tide meets Sandy, his brother’s former girlfriend. Still devastated by Tan’s death, she helps arranges a meeting between Tide and his brother’s agent Mann, a former triad now working as a toll booth attendant. Mann acted as Tan Ho’s agent in the underground boxing world and is able to fill in the gaps in Tide’s understanding of the brother he hadn’t seen for ten years. Tide decides the only way to understand Tan’s death is to follow in his footsteps… Dark, brooding, and stylish: three words that fit this tale of underground boxing and estranged brotherhood. Louis Koo looks the part of the brooding Tan, but he fails to embody the character with any real sense of danger or edge. Daniel Wu is marginally better as the quieter Tide. The problem is that neither one is able to stand up to the extremely stylish backgrounds. What’s needed are actors with more physicality, strength, and personality … someone like Patrick Tam. He captures the wild and exciting side of Mann on his way up with Tan, but also nails a desperate uncertainty in his scenes with Tide. Nearly as striking is Jo Kuk as Sandy. It does not fully connect with every punch, but director Patrick Leung comes close. Still, the director’s strengths shine through: brief montages build mood, the shifting between present and past is handled skillfully through the use of flashbacks and intercutting, slow motion and unique camera placements are judiciously utilized. The shadowy settings lean heavily on burnished colors that are beautifully captured by director of photography Joe Chan. Chiu Tsang-heii and Anthony Chue composed the entrancing musical score, which leans heavily on guitars, synthesizers, and the occasional techno-beat.
Peter A Martin
Thanks to Far East Film Festival