Chen Singh and Chan Wei Man star in this tough thriller which is best described as a gritty HK version of The French Connection.
Chen Singh is the 'Grinning Tiger' whose brother is killed in Amsterdam by hitman Chan Wei Man who works for the untouchable Mr. Tung back in Hong Kong. Siao Fong Fong plays Inspector Carran who is assigned to bring Mr.Tung's drug running empire down to the ground. This creates an interesting combination as Chen Singh and Carran race to hunt down their enemy, both with entirely different motives.
The film takes in some nice authentic locations throughout it's running time from the opening shots of the canals and red light district of Amsterdam, the Happy Valley racecourse in Hong Kong through to the congested slums of Kowloon City - these sites are juxtaposed with scenes of Mr Tung sipping champagne with his sharp suited guests - highlighting the fact that the top guys never get their shoes dirty and this character is no exception!
There is a very well observed and convincing realism to the whole proceedings and the film also benefits from some decent acting and subtle touches that help elevate the slightly rugged production values into a plausible and tough police thriller.
I must say that I was a little disappointed by the amount of screen time that Chen Singh received but the whole thing moves along at a decent enough pace for that to ever become a real problem. However, it is Chan Wei Man who steals the show in this one as he packs in a truly menacing turn as Mr. Tung's right hand man. His viciousness reaches it's peak when he descends upon Carrans girlfriend who is alone in her flat in a very well executed and brutal scene.
There is very little in the way of Kung Fu in the film. The action consists of mainly knife and gun play but Chen Singh and Chan Wei Man do get to have a brief tussle at the end of the film in the reliable construction site setting!
To sum up this is a very tight little thriller with some quality acting and quite a sombre, dark tone. Those who enjoy Chan Wei Man's bad guy roles will relish this one and although Chen Singh is fairly under used he does a decent enough job to warrant fans of his to give this one a look.