Okay..just to clarify. My boyfriend and I are working on the not seen pile because its getting ridiculously high and coincidentally that includes a bunch of Hong Kong flicks so foreign films will be a bit more frequent. At least I have another review coming up shortly. We’ve been working hard in the last 2 weeks, that pile has decreased quite a bit. I have one tower instead of two on my shelf. Actually for this movie Full Throttle, I saw it when I was very young. I remember a bit of the story but its a crossover of racing and drama with the fantastic Andy Lau in his beginning of his red hot days in the Hong Kong film industry. He’s still red hot now especially after Infernal Affairs and winning the Best Actor in the Asian equivalent of Academy Awards a few years back.
Director: Derek Yee
Cast: Andy Lau, David Wu, Gigi Leung, Paul Chun, Kar Lok Chin
Joe (Andy Lau) is known to be Hong Kong’s top motorcycle racers. However, as his father Paul (Paul Chun), who owns the best official racing team in the industry, he has banned Joe from being near his bikes. This lead him to rebel and eventually this caused him to lose his license for 7 years. Regardless of that factor, he still joins in illegal underground street races and has proven that he is still at par. One night, he meets a young racer David (David Wu) who has just returned from America and wants to make a name for himself. When things turn sour, David joins Paul’s team while Joe and his best friend Jimmy (Kar Lok Chin) decide to challenge them and he ends up in an accident. As his health slowly improves and his girlfriend Annie is by his side convincing him to not do this anymore, he has to question what is important in his life and reevaluate his path. Should he challenge David for the top racer and fight his fears? Is racing what defines him? Is this worth losing his relationship over?
I feel like I’ve said too much in the synopsis but to be fair, this is a drama more than action. There are a few race scenes but its a lot about Joe finding his path. The story is pretty good however, with the many movies that has come out in between 1995 to today in Hollywood, you will be able to figure out most of what happens. I stay true that the characters in this story, especially Joe’s character is very well-developed. Plus, they have quite the top supporting cast for this flick and it earned a really good reputation. Although, some characters were on the annoying side.
Joe reevaluating his life
Andy Lau was a pretty decent actor back in the 90s (not just nowadays). He did some pretty remarkable movies and in fact, I own and rewatch a lot of them regularly. Some is because he did them with Stephen Chow and as the years went by, he tackled all the movie genres and developed himself into a great actor. He is a respectable actor as well and back then, he worked hard. He was one of the least annoying parts of this movie. For the most part, I found his character development to be very full as we watch him fall, get up and fall again and then stand back up to find himself and in between make tough decisions. I was totally convinced me that he was going through a bad time.
Joe (Andy Lau) and Jimmy (Kar Lok Chin)
I can’t say the same for some of the other actors because they aren’t as good. However, I blame the dialogue and the characters they were given. For the most part, Gigi Leung’s Annie drove me absolutely crazy frustrated most of the time because I found her bordering annoying. However, I love Gigi Leung not mostly as an actress but more a singer. Kar Lok Chin does his usual roles of being the jealous lesser person who has too much pride to admit that and ends up in bad spots. However, he does do those roles really well so for the new viewers who don’t expect it, he will be convincing and if I`m not mistaken, he is more of a stunts guy.
One of the best supporting actors is Paul Chun who plays Joe’s father. Paul Chun is one of the respectable older actors. When he was younger, (according to my mom) he was cast as handsome main actor roles and I may not see the handsome part but he definitely has the acting thing down really solid. He has an engaging role where you will hate but question his motives for how he treats Joe. I have been watching this guy in TV drama and movies since forever, so he is awesome!
I really enjoy this movie. Its a nice action drama and Andy Lau is really good. The story is decent and for the most part, it shows a lot of Hong Kong streets and life back in the 90s. Hong Kong changes too much for it to stay the same but I mean, the road designs and structure do stay the same. Maybe you’ll enjoy the difference of the filming style to Hollywood. Its definitely worth a watch if you get a chance!