Expect the Unexpected

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Poster for the movie
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Poster for the movie "Expect the Unexpected"

Expect the Unexpected (1998)

87 min - Foreign - 28 May 1998
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In this "cops and robbers" film, a raid on a jewelry store staged by a band of amateur hold-up artists goes horribly wrong, leading to a shoot-out. The elite Organized Crime Bureau team, headed by Captain Ching King Gen, is poised to go into action at a moment's notice. Working as a unit, they bring law and order to Hong Kong streets, where they must rely on their courage and skills to survive.

Director:  Johnnie To, Patrick Yau
Writers:  Kam-Yuen Szeto, Taures Chow Yin-Han, Yau Nai-Hoi

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Storyline

In this "cops and robbers" film, a raid on a jewelry store staged by a band of amateur hold-up artists goes horribly wrong, leading to a shoot-out. The elite Organized Crime Bureau team, headed by Captain Ching King Gen, is poised to go into action at a moment's notice. Working as a unit, they bring law and order to Hong Kong streets, where they must rely on their courage and skills to survive.


Collections: Johnnie To, Patrick Yau

Genres: Foreign

Details

Official Website: 
Country:   Hong Kong
Language:  Cantonese
Release Date:  28 May 1998

Box Office

Company Credits

Production Companies: 

Technical Specs

Runtime:  1 h 27 min

Different in look from the tenebrous The Longest Nitebut clearly from the same creative team, Patrick Yau’s third feature, Expect the Unexpected, is a stylish, involving cop ensembler that more than lives up to its title.

If anyone had any doubts, pic ranks Yau as one of the most exciting new talents working in Hong Kong’s quality mainstream. Whereas Nite was set in humid, nocturnal Macau, Unexpected takes place in rain-drenched, daytime Hong Kong; however, pic’s slow- brewing atmosphere – typified by the opening reels in which little is immediately explained – is typical of the director and, if anything, more subtly controlled than in the earlier movie. Three gangsters enter a smart coffee bar, clearly waiting for something to happen; the waitress, Mandy (Yo Yo Mung), watches the TV news about a racketeer who’s on the run but seems more enthralled by the images of Ken Wong (Simon Yam), the handsome cop who’s leading the hunt; across the road, some Mainlanders rob a jewelry store – and all hell breaks loose as the cops turn up and the gangsters join in. Local stars Lau, unrecognizable from his part as the shaven-headed, hard body in Nite, and Yam, in one of his most controlled perfs, evince remarkable chemistry, more through looks than explicit dialogue, and are backed up by a fine roster of supports. Ko Chiu-lam’s perpetually gliding, widescreen lensing – a kind of low- key, daytime noir – and Cacine Wong’s brush-like score are full partners in the final result, which reps a character-driven spin on genre cinema at its best.

Derek Elley

Thanks to Far East Film Festival

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