Beardy plays Liang Chen Yu an ex-racing driver and successful businessman with some sharp boxing skills to boot. A chance meeting at the airport reunites him with an old school friend, Wang Chien Heng, who Beardy and his fiancee invite to stay over at their place for a while. It seems that Wang Chien has more pressing issues than visiting old pals and it soon emerges that his motive for coming to Hong Kong is to kill Wei Chiao (Chang Yi) - a jewelry tycoon whom Wang holds responsible for his fathers death. After an assassination attempt goes wrong, Wang Chien tries to blackmail Wei Chiao by threatening to expose the tycoon's wrong-doings with some damning photographic evidence. However, things start to take a turn for the worse when Chang Yi's two henchmen - Chan Wei Man and Philip Kao Fei - go after the engaged love birds assuming that Beardy now has the incriminating documents.
At a fleeting glance of the cast to die for, 'Profile In Anger' promises so much but ultimately fails to fully hit the mark. Liang Kar Yan's direction lacks the punch needed to carry a film of this kind - there is no real urgency or fluidity to the camerawork. It is not helped by the fact that the script contains very few surprises and is riddled with common cliches such as a token bar brawl complete with clumsy fat bikers, a (cranked up) car chase with dangerous barrels placed strategically in the middle of the road and the classic and obligatory gym training scene in the lead up to the finale. I must also mention a fairly ridiculous and jarringly out-of-place scene where Beardy has a fight with the leader of a gang of 'underworld punks'. The overall look of the gang has blatantly been lifted from The Warriors or Mad Max and whilst their barbaric behaviour would fit quite well within an Italian Post-Apocalyptic exploitation film - here, in what is supposed to be a tough modern day thriller, it doesn't quite gel!.
Still! Enough of the bad - what's good about 'Profile In Anger'? Well, first and foremost the film does boast some decent stand out performances from Chan Wei Man and Philip Kao Fei. Chan is as mean as ever as the hired professional killer. He manages to reach his despicable zenith in a brief but unintentionally amusing scene where he crushes a little girl's kite after she accidently lands it on the hood of his gleaming Pontiac. Kao Fei however, is simply a maniac in this film. At first he comes across as the quiet, sinister type who keeps a machete in his black jacket at all times - when suddenly his character takes a bizarre turn and becomes almost super-human accompanied by plenty of incessant laughter which left him at times seeming like a demented hyena.
It was interesting to see Chang Yi in a role like this. He still managed to exude that same silent menace even though he was clad in a shirt and tie and not a Dragon Suit!. Beardy was as good as always and even made sure he got to have a love scene in his own movie. There were also a few effective touches too, like a quickly glimpsed shot of Philip Kao Fei revealing some nasty scarring at the back of his head (hinting at the sheer insanity of his character that is to come...) and the remains of the dead housekeeper in the closet, these all helped sustain a certain amount of tension to help lift the, sometimes, lagging script.
With a tighter control over the action and a few more fights, this could have been quite a memorable film...I'd say that it's definitely worth checking out if you're a fan of any of the featured actors (especially Chan Wei Man) - but if you are purely seeking some no-nonsense, brutal mid 80's HK cinema, you would be best off re-directed to the far superior 'Hong Kong Godfathers' first before trying this one out.