Tokyo Raiders- -
When a private eye, a jilted bride and a mysterious stranger join forces to track down an elusive mobster, there's more than trouble in the air in Tokyo Raiders, a martial arts adventure that really flies! Acclaimed Hong Kong action star Tony Leung plays Len, a smooth-talking detective whose trench coat carries an arsenal of tricks and provides a streetwise disguise for the kung fu master. While on the trail of a gangland boss, Len meets up with brokenhearted Macy (international pop star Kelly Chen) and John (actor/singer Ekin Cheng), an interior designer with ulterior motives. As they close in on their quarry, the dramatic Tokyo streets are filled with close calls, triple-crosses, gravity-defying fight scenes and a band of chicks that totally kicks!
A fistful of Hong Kong stars get into some engaging hijinx in Tokyo Raiders.
This year’s clear winner in the Chinese New Year box office sweeps, grossing HK$28 million ($3.5 million) locally, the Golden Harvest production makes up in personality and an overall light, jokey tone what it lacks in sheer action smarts. Pic also went straight into the Mainland market, on 1,000 screens, to forestall piracy. For his third film as director, noted d.p. Jingle Ma has learned some lessons from his debut, Hot War (1998), a techno-actioner that forgot to fold character into the computerized script. Raiders swings in the opposite direction, with male leads Leung and Cheng engaging in plenty of verbal cross-play, Canto-thrush Kelly Chen providing the third side of the (non-romantic) triangle, and the film, entirely shot in Japan, taking on an almost docu-like look, with antsy editing, swishing camerawork and synch sound. Plot has interior designer Yung accompanying Macy to Tokyo to track down her Japanese fiance, Takahashi, who left her at the altar in Las Vegas. They’re soon helped by Lin, a Tokyo-based Chinese PI, who maintains a bevy of female assistants, including Saori (hot new star Cecilia Cheung, in a small role). Nobody is who he or she appears to be, and yakuza Ito is on all their tails. Unlike Gordon Chan’s 2000 AD, action sequences rely more on novelty settings than f/x or sheer spectacle, with Leung’s easygoing, boyish charm setting the tone and the mystery of who is doing what to whom providing most of the plot interest. Biggest set piece is a speedboat finale through Tokyo’s waterways, which is only average by Hong Kong movie standards.
Thanks to Far East Film Festival