The Longest Nite(1998)
Director: Patrick Yau Tat-Chi
Producers: Johnnie To Kei-Fung, Wai Ka-Fai
Script: Yau Nai-Hoi, Szeto Kam-Yuen
Action Director: Wu Chi-Lung
Cast: Lau Ching-Wan, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Maggie Siu Mei-Kei,
Mark Cheng Ho-Nam, Yuen Bun
Rating: IIB

Back in the summer of '98, this Patrick Yau film slipped in and out of the Music Palace in NYC's Chinatown before I had a chance to see it. Later I read and heard that the subtitles on the film [hence the VCD] were very small and virtually unreadable, so I was in no hurry to see what I percieved as hard edged and similiar to producer Johnnie To's dreadful "A Hero Never Dies".

Well, shame on me. After Yau's Expect the Unexpected, I should've known this film would be interesting. The Longest Nite features Tony Leung as a crooked, nasty Macau police detective and Lau Ching Wan as a mysterious triad hitman. Two warring triad kingpins are supposed to make a peace agreement but, until they actually meet, both men may be killed at anytime by 'contract' killers. Leung's crooked cop is trying to keep things quiet for one more 'night'. He becomes involved in a mysterious and elaborate double cross and revenge plot set in motion by the 'boss' of the aforementioned triad kingpins. Leung is such a fine performer! I'm glad he is finally getting the international recognition he deserves.

This is a damn fine DVD. The tiny subtitles have been replaced with the classy new very readable ones in the black under the beautiful letterboxed image. It comes with extras like the trailer, footage from the "opening lens ceremony", interviews from the premiere, a "making of" segment, and some very cool "outtakes".

copyright 2000 J. Crawford

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