Captain of the police’s anti-drug division Zhang Lei (Honglei Sun) takes charge after drug lord Tian Ming (Louis Koo) is captured after a car crash. Facing the death penalty, Ming cuts a deal with Lei, providing him with information on how to dismantle a major drug ring in the hope his life will be spared. What follows is a deadly trail leading to a stand-off none could have foreseen.
Directed with energetic intensity by Johnnie To, Drug War is consistently exciting. As the two men navigate the murky world of drug trafficking, their dogged determination is exposed. Whilst from opposing sides, Ming and Lei share a similar passion in their respective fields. This makes for an unpredictable combination as each begrudgingly relies on the other for survival. This leads to some engaging scenes generating genuine tension.
Drug War comes into its own with its dazzling action sequences. Full of bloody shoot-outs and kinetic gun-play, they assist in making for an engrossing film. Thankfully they don’t get in the way of a character-driven plot maintaining a cracking pace. You’re never quite sure how events will pan out with a finale sure to surprise.
An interesting and entertaining action drama Drug War is a fast ride. It says a lot about the drug trade without being preachy which is a credit to its strong production and solid script.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 8
- The OzAsia Festival runs 13-29 September 2013