Drug War – DVD Reviews

*Originally written in 2013 based on a free copy provided by Amazon.


It has been a while since I’ve seen a new Johnnie To movie which really impressed and excited me – Drug War brings him almost back to his best with a tense action thriller which draws many comparisons with Michael Mann’s Heat. This has a large case of famous faces, inspired set pieces, numerous explosive gun-fights, and a weaving cat and mouse plot as a criminal mastermind and fierce Detective do battle. There are plenty of stylish visuals and violence, but at the core is a cold story with few easy answers and fewer happy endings for the characters.

Zhang is a no-nonsense Detective who pulls out all the stops to catch notorious Drug Lords, and during the course of the film we see him become more dangerously close to the edge, almost reckless, in his pursuit of taking down the bad guys. Sun Honglei plays Zhang with a lot of skill, morphing seamlessly from zero-emotion cop to jolly criminal impersonator. Equally, Louis Koo, playing the captured drug baron Choi is impressive at conveying grief, desperation, charm, and deadly cunning. Much of the film is a game of wits between this pair, and along the way we interact with a variety of cops and criminals, each with their own story to tell and part to play.

For those who like their action, we do get a few highlights – a factory attack and the final showdown outside a school are directed flawlessly – they serve the plot and do not seem over the top in a John Woo style but are more grounded yet no less exciting or adventurous. This is definitely one for fans of Hong Kong, Asian, or action cinema to enjoy.

Amazon Vine Freebies – November 2013

Well well, it has been a long time since I shared by generous bounty with you. I’ve been off helping James Woods battle aliens on a distant planet, only pausing amidst the carnage twice a month to check what Amazon has wanted to give me. The last few months have seen a shift from electronics to groceries, and while I’m all for eating biscuits and cereal, i’d still rather eat a TV. In November I received thus:

Drug War: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00D9SRC8I

Johnnie To is back in peak form with this crime-action drama featuring a strong ensemble cast and many moments which reminded me of the best in the genre – Heat, Infernal Affairs etc. There are some great performances, plenty of action packed set-pieces, and a twisting, finger nibbling plot.


John Milius has always been one of my favourite directors, and is easily one of Cinema’s best, underrated writers. Jaws? Apocalypse Now? Hunt For Red October? Dirty Harry? Conan? Rome? The list goes on, and this documentary follows his career from early Film School days with Lucas, Spielberg etc, features many amusing anecdotes from some of Hollywood’s most important people, and proves both that you can make your dream come true (if you have a big enough gun) and that the world needs more Milius.

Philips AVENT DECT Baby Monitor SCD560/01 with Light, Lullabies and Temperature Sensor: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00ECWMWD0

Baby sensors are always handy, especially when you have babies, and possibly more so if you are under attack by a horde of zombabies (I guarantee that before the year is through someone will have made a movie called ZOMBABIES).

Finish All In 1 Lemon Sparkle 78 Dishwasher Tablets: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00820VLNU

Bizarrely not a wepon to use in a futuristic murder-sport, the Finish Powerball (I guarantee that before the year is through someone will have made a movie called POWERBALL) lays waste to grim, wreaks havoc on dirt, and creates billions of orphan germs by sweeping through your dishwasher and leaving everything shiny, lemony, and sparkly, like a Sprite flavoured vampire.