An Eye For An Eye – Revengathon Supremo

Country: Hong Kong
Genre: Action/ Martial Arts
Director: O Sing-Pui
Year: 1990

Rating: ★★★★½


An Eye For An Eye is the sort of flick that makes you remember why you fell in love with Hong Kong movies in the first place.

The triad old timers are not happy with Boss Tung (Foo Wang-Tat). He won’t allow prostitution, drugs, or gambling. This leads to trouble. I don’t want to say any more, as it would spoil your fun.

Much of the time, when you’re talking about Hong Kong films, you have to take your pleasures where you can find them. Sometimes a story won’t be carefully written, but the film it’s in will have boffo stunts. Sometimes dialog will be pure crap, but the performances are so juicy that you halfway forgive the screenwriter. Sometimes the editing will be choppy or the color timing will be off.

An Eye For An Eye has almost no weaknesses.

The stunts and martial arts from action coordinators Benz Kong and Poon Kin-Gwan are as beautifully done as they are numerous and over the top. The story is logical from beginning to end, and while it steals from numerous other pictures (including The Godfather), it adds enough new wrinkles and is involving enough that I didn’t care. All of the acting, from the stars to the bit parts is terrific, which speaks well of director O Sing-Pui’s ability with actors. And what a cast: Joey Wong, Max Mok, John Ching, Ricky Yi, Leung Gam-San, Mai Kei, Melvin Wong, and many more actors are riveting, with la creme de la creme being Jimmy Lung, who absolutely revels in the scumbaggery of his character. And O Sing-Pui has total control of tone and pacing. Don’t let the fact that An Eye For An Eye is a flaming melodrama blind you to the skill with which it was made.

The visuals are beautiful, too. Check out the way cinematographer Abdul M. Rumjahn films Joey Wong while she’s praying. He overcranks the camera because he knows the way the wind is moving her hair is pure poetry.

What can I say? Director O Sing-Pui, working from a crackerjack script by Chan Kiu-Ying, knows exactly what kind of movie he is trying to make, and he blasts it out of the park.

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