Election (2005)

Election is "le dernier chef d'oeuvre du cinéma du directeur renommé de film de Hong Kong, M. Johnnie To". Compared to his previous recent efforts like the police thriller PTU [2003] and the surrealistic Throw Down [2004], this movie is more of a straight-line narrative that pushes the darkest elements of human nature to the foreground. Tony Leung Ka-Fai and Simon Yam Tat-Wah play the two leading contenders for the job of top triad bad guy, a process which has a long, sordid, and detailed history.

One school of thought feels that voting should go according to traditional values while the other school of thought takes an "anything goes" approach to win at any cost. "Traditional values" are mostly bribes, payoffs, and an occasional broken and/or severed limb. Sometimes people take the money and don't deliver the goods. When that happens, things can get troublesome. Sometimes you have to keep your friends close, but you have to keep your enemies closer. Mr. To and Executive Director Law Wing-Cheong show us the nasty underbelly of Hong Kong criminal enterprises. Election is quite compelling. You can't stop watching.

Copyright © 2007 John Crawford. All rights reserved.