Director: Dante Lam
Writer: Jack Ng
Cast: Nicholas Tse Ting Fung, Nick Cheung Ka Fai, Sherman Chung Shu Man, Derek Kwok Jing Hung, Ringo Chan Ka Leung, Joe Cheung Tung Cho
Running Time: 111 min.
By Mighty Peking Man
I just realized it’s been years since I’ve seen a Dante Lam flick (last one I saw was 1998’s Beast Cops), let alone any Hong Kong movie. I have to say, popping in a modern Chinese crime film was a nice change of pace for me. I’ve been sort of pissed off at current films lately (all genres, all countries); so most of what I’ve been watching are ones I already love or classics that I’ve never seen. It’s films like Avatar and Transformers 2 that steer me to that backwards direction (God, those movies sucked).
This brings us to Dante Lam’s Beast Stalker (which has nothing to do with Marc Singer or barbarians). This moody action-thriller centers around a hot headed cop (Nicholas Tse), some asshole gangsters, a murdered child, a grieving mother, and a kidnapping by a psycho called “Beast” (Nick Cheung). Without giving too much away, the way the story unfolds would make Paul Haggis proud.
Beast Stalker starts out typical, then mellow drama starts to pour in. The next thing you know, tension comes out of nowhere; now you’re glued, and what started out as something you didn’t want to watch, turns out to be very watchable.
Nicholas Tse – who is looking more like a man these days; and less like a long-haired teeny bopper with highlighted hair – gives us an outstanding performance. To a lesser extent, Nick Cheung carries the weight with some solid acting.
There is a major car accident sequence that is visually impressive. This is very rare for me to say, but I actually appreciate the use of cgi in these particular shots. I never thought that little pieces of glass and slow motion could look so awesome.
Now, if they could only put a stop to that shaky camera and constant zooming crap; why in the hell is everyone still going for that Jerry Bruckheimer/Michael Bay bullshit? It got old more than 15 years ago. Enough.
All in all, Beast Stalker is passable flick, just don’t expect to remember it years from now.
Mighty Peking Man’s Rating: 6.5/10