HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Predator, The
Shirkers
Human Experiments
Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte
Occupation
Intruder
Beast
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
King of Thieves
Unfriended: Dark Web
Blood Fest
Visit to a Small Planet
12th Man, The
Laura
Hotel Artemis
Dogman
Zama
City on Fire
Bird Box
Nico, 1988
BlacKkKlansman
Panique
Happy New Year, Colin Burstead
Accident Man
Tomb Raider
Cold War
Roma
Gemini
Yardie
Let the Corpses Tan
   
 
Newest Articles
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
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
   
 
  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 2444 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
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
   

 

Last Updated: