HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Critters Attack
Prison on Fire
Dragged Across Concrete
Do the Right Thing
Hellboy
Pond Life
Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, The
Third Wife, The
Shazam!
Follow Me
Leto
Fugitive Girls
Missing Link
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The
Pet Sematary
Oh... Rosalinda!!
Dumbo
Kaleidoscope
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl
Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang, The
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Klute
Meow
Killer Crocodile
Nutcracker Prince, The
Secret World of Og, The
Benjamin
Fifth Cord, The
Man Could Get Killed, A
Cyborg 009: Kaiju War
Heavy Trip
Nightmare Weekend
Blue Ice
Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The
Incident, The
Hell's Angels
Heaven and Earth
Flatliners
Us
mid90s
   
 
Newest Articles
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
   
 
  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 2649 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
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: