HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Back to Berlin
Leave No Trace
They Shall Not Grow Old
Dollman
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Man Who Invented Christmas, The
Tom's Midnight Garden
Lady, Stay Dead
Thieves, The
My Dear Secretary
I Think We're Alone Now
Amazing Colossal Man, The
Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael
Suzanne
Nae Pasaran!
Kiss of the Dragon
Other Side of the Wind, The
Secret Santa
Wolcott
10.000 Km
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure
Hitler's Hollywood
Ghost Goes Gear, The
First Purge, The
House of Wax
Mandy
Climax, The
Justice League Dark
Night Watchmen, The
Bandh Darwaza
   
 
Newest Articles
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
   
 
  Beast Stalker, The In the line of dutyBuy this film here.
Year: 2008
Director: Dante Lam
Stars: Nicholas Tse, Nick Cheung, Zhang Jingchu, Miao Pu, Liu Kai-Chi, Sherman Chung Shu-Man, Zhang He, Lau Kong, Derek Kwok Jing-Hung, Joe Cheung Tung-Cho, Patrick Keung Hiu-Man, Wong Suet-Yin, Wong Sum-Yin, Accord Cheung Kwok-Wai, Eddie Chan Shu-Chi, Tommy Tse
Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Hong Kong police Sergeant Tong (Nicholas Tse) is hell-bent on nailing the city’s most dangerous crime kingpin, Cheung Yat-tung (Patrick Keung Hiu-Man). However, his pursuit ends in a fateful car crash that sparks a tragic chain of events that includes Tong accidentally killing the eldest daughter of Ann Gao (Zhang Jingchu), the public prosecutor handling the case against Cheung. Three years later, a shattered Tong bonds with Ann’s younger daughter Ling (Wong Suet-Yin), who is subsequently kidnapped on Cheung’s orders, hoping to derail the case against him. The kidnapper is Hung (Nick Cheung), a ruthless contract killer but a man beset by personal tragedy. Against Ann’s wishes, Tong races against time to rescue Lin and atone for his past sins.

Redemption often makes for a potent theme in thrillers and one can easily see why Cantopop idol Nicholas Tse latched onto this role. Often unfairly derided as a pretty-boy, Tse first branched out with a villainous role in art-house fantasy The Promise (2005). Here he is impressively haggard and gut-wrenching as a man haunted by having seemingly wrecked the lives of all who surround him. One poignant scene finds him begging help from a police officer (Derek Kwok Jing-Hung) whom he needlessly reprimanded to the point of ruining his career and whom we subsequently discover is his cousin. Throughout the movie it remains an open question whether Tong has his own interests or those of the victim at heart, given how his actions increasingly endanger Ling, who thankfully proves a smart little cookie in her own right. Nick Cheung is equally compelling as the half-blind contract killer caring for his paraplegic wife (Miao Pu). A man driven to do despicable things and who hates himself every step of the way.

Admittedly most thrillers rely on contrivance to a certain degree, but The Beast Stalker often feels overly so. Coincidence is piled upon coincidence, from the reveal of how Ann’s elder daughter met a tragic end, to Detective Sun’s (Liu Kai-Chi) chance discovery of Hung in a fast-food restaurant, to the final twist that ties all these disparate fates together. Everything seems just that little bit pat, akin to the overly bright, mainstream-friendly filmic style favoured by director Dante Lam. Lam made the overrated but award-winning Beast Cops (1998) and the charming The Twins Effect (2003). He borrows a stylistic lick or two from TV’s 24 but his use of handheld digital cameras crackles with a distinctive Hong Kong energy and his vivid staging of the opening car crash is inspired.

Shaw Brothers veteran Tung Wai handles fight choreography. He intelligently stages clumsy, sweaty, brutal action that is far from stylized. In fact the film avoids the expected fight to the death between flawed hero and tragic villain in favour of something altogether more poignant and human. Nicholas Tse pulls out all the acting stops for an emotionally-draining finale. But while taut and well acted by all, The Beast Stalker is not quite as gut-wrenching as it could have been.

Click here for the trailer

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2378 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
Alexander Taylor
   

 

Last Updated: