A powerful triad boss has been kidnapped, and the new police superintendent Koo (Fala Chen) decides to recruit the help of Mann (Simon Yam or Nham Dat Hoa), a former supercop who has since been relegated to back-up duty. Mann has his work cut out for him when he realizes his opponent is Sam (Michael Miu). a former cop with plenty of grudges. When Sam takes the fight to Mann’s family. Mann is more than determined to bring down the dangerous kidnapper and his gang.
Black Ransom (Tien Chuot Den) was written by super moviemeister Wong Jing. He of the massive filmography and predictable bag of tricks. Wong combines many of his formulaic ideas for this 90 minute action thriller. With an equal amount being effective and laughable. On the effective end, there are some nifty set pieces, decent character types and solid conflicts on display.
The laughable stuff
Some totally nonsensical characters, huge plot holes, tired clichés, massive coincidences, forgotten subplots. And a pronounced level of coolness that just doesn’t convince. Maybe Brother Mann’s “feeling” is supposed to be compelling, but it’s more giggle-worthy than anything else. Director Keung Kwok-Man doesn’t have the skill to sell his film’s silliness, reducing it to barely B-minus movie fare. If Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai had taken control of Black Ransom. We could have had a real movie on our hands.
There’s eye candy too; Wong Jing regular Liu Yang is very easy on the eyes, as is Turning Point’s Fala Chen. Neither they nor the other actors perform in a notable or consistent manner. But that’s to be expected for a film (phim hinh su Hong Kong) with this pedigree. Black Ransom is resolutely and unashamedly generic, and yet still manages to be amusing and harmlessly entertaining. So the “feeling” is just the added ingredient that sends it over the top.