Sampan's Rating: A
1992 had two final statements to end Hong Kong's heroic bloodshed genre once and for all: John Woo's "Hard Boiled" and Ringo Lam's "Full Contact". Whereas "Hard Boiled" is the more famous, "Full Contact" is perhaps the more edgy, uncompromising, and flatout insane. Whereas John Woo had a more hopeful, romantic sensibility, Ringo Lam was known for his pessimistic and brutal aesthetic. In this case, "Full Contact" is no exception--merciless antagonists, betrayal from one's friends, and redemption for one's sinful life. However, this is Lam's most stylish, much like a graphic novel come to life. Not only are characters, lighting, and costumes colorful, but "Full Contact" teeters on brutal ultra-violence rather than balletic action choreography. It's likely off putting to some, but if you can stomach it, this is Ringo Lam and Chow Yun Fat at their best. Look out for OST work from Teddy Robin, slimy performances from Simon Yam and Anthony Wong, and early innovations such as bullet time later popularized in "The Matrix".
Plot: A bar bouncer (Chow Yun Fat) in Thailand's underworld gives up everything to find the armed criminal gang who left him for dead.
Director and Producer: Ringo Lam 林嶺東
Script: Nam Yin 南燕
Action Direction: Lau Kar-Wing 劉家榮, Ridley Tsui 徐寶華
Cinematographer: Peter Ngor 敖志君, Chan Hon-Wing 陳漢榮, Joe Chan 陳廣鴻, Lau Hung-Chuen 劉鴻泉
Composer: Teddy Robin 泰迪羅賓
Starring: Chow Yun Fat 周潤發, Simon Yam 任達華, Anthony Wong 黃秋生, Ann Bridgewater 柏安妮, Bonnie Fu 符鈺晶, Frankie Chan 陳治良
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