- X 2019
Hong Kong 2005
Dennis Law, Johnnie To for Milkyway Image, One Hundred Years of Film, China Star
directed by Johnnie To
starring Simon Yam, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Louis Koo, Nick Cheung, Cheung Siu Fai, Lam Suet, Lam Ka Tung, Wang Tian-lin, Maggie Siu, Bo Yuen, Che Biu Law, David Chiang, Robert Hung, Kwok Fung, Lam Man-wai, Ng Ting Yip, Chan Siu-Pang, Tam Ping-Man, Wang Chung, Wong Ho-Yin, You Yong, Yuen Bun
written by Yau Nai-Hoi, Yip Tin-Shing, music by Lo Tayu
Available on DVD !
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It's election time when a big triad organisation plans to vote for its
chairman (as is tradition within this family), and the two candidates are
Big D (Tony Leung Ka Fai) and Lok (Simon Yam). Both men are ambitious
enough to get elected that they outbribe each other ... and in the end the
majority of the members of the organisation votes for Lok.
Big D however is a sore loser, and he thinks of ways to become chairman
after all ... and stumbles upon an old (and meaningless) tradition that
the chairman has to cary the Dragon Head Baton for his inauguration. So he
contacts the present chairman, Whistler (Wang Chung) and forces him to
tell him where the Baton is - somewhere in mainland China. So he sends his
men to fetch the Baton ... but Lok has anticipated this and does the same,
and before long, in an elongated fight and chase, many people on both
sides die for the stupid Baton. Finally though, Lok gats his hands on it
after all and is inaugurated..
Suddenly, Big D is all sweet to him and makes up with him, he even
helps him to (brutally) kill Dino (Bo Yuen), a dangerous competitor, and
finally we see Lok and his son and Big D and his wife (Maggie Siu)
together on a fishing trip. In a quiet moment though, Big D shows his true
intentions when he suggests to Lok to install a second chairman - Big D of
course -, if only for the good of the organisation. Lok picks up a big
stone and beats Big D to death with it. Then he goes after Big D's wife
and beats her to death with a shovel. After having buried them both he
drives off with his son as if nothing has ahppened - even thogh the boy
has witnessed the whole thing ...
Despite its moments of pure genius, this is one of Johnny To's lesser
films. Though Election, like most of To's better films, contains
its fair share of subversive ideas and hilarious scenes, as a whole it
just fails to fall together: Main problem is, the plot somehow lacks a
proper direction, the campaigning at the beginning of the film, the
action-laden chase at the center and the conclusion of the film (including
the murder of Big D) seem to tell three different stories, with none of
them being allowed to develop to their full potential - and actually none
of these stories gets a proper ending.
That said though, the film might still be worth your while, it's
flawlessly directed, it's subversive enough aad at times it's quite clever
too. Thing is, Johnny To can do (and did do) better ...