First buys: Drug War

MOVIE: 3.5/5

SINGAPORE - I have a love-hate thing going with this movie.

Hong Kong heart-throb Louis Koo stars as Timmy Choi, a slimy weasel of a drug dealer who lands in hospital after an explosion in his drug factory.

There he meets Captain Zhang Lei (Sun Honglei), head of the anti-drug task force, who immediately knows he is a drug dealer, having sniffed drug fumes on him.

In an effort to escape the death penalty, Choi collaborates with the police to bust the drug syndicate he is working for.

It's no surprise that Drug War received positive reviews when it premiered at the Rome International Film Festival last year.

The acting was great - I'm a big fan of Sun's work on 2007's Triangle and 2011's The Warring States.

Hong Kong actors like Lam Suet and Michelle Ye fill roles as the baddies in this film. I loved them - they were entertaining.

The filming style is classically Johnnie To. Lots of evocative greys and blues, slow pans of the camera that follow contemplative glances and, of course, well-executed action scenes.

Why didn't I like the film then? I didn't like the ending. I spent 107 minutes getting to know the characters, feeling what they feel, understanding them and the movie ends with a disappointing close. In the end there's no hero, no villain - it's all left up in the air.


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