The Suspect- -
Louis Koo plays an assassin who wants to go straight after getting out of prison, so he turns down a job from his former employer Simon Yam to kill a politician. Yam carries out the hit himself and manages to frame Koo for the crime, who then must run from both the cops and criminals as he tries to clear his name.
This explosive and pacey piece from action auteur Ringo Lam (Full Alert) sees the director put aside his customary gritty street realism in favour of big blasts and pyrotechnics.
Whereas Full Alert saw Lam home in on the minutiae of his characters, he plays it wild and loose with The Suspect and concentrates wholly on the big picture. The plot hinges around an extended chase. Don Lee (Louis Koo) is released from a long prison sentence in an unidentified Southeast Asian country (basically, the Philippines!), and vows to go straight. But his former gang boss orders him to commit a political assassination. Don is compelled to take the job, but backs out of the kill at the last moment. Unfortunately, someone else commits the murder – while Don is still holding his gun. Both the local authorities and the gang pursue Don, who has unwittingly involved a TV reporter (Ada Choi) in his escape. Although it’s easy to get lost in the sprawl of the story, it’s definitely fun to watch Lam put his characters through the wringer in an uncharacteristically extreme fashion.
Richard James Havis