My sojorn to this film began some time in May 2000 when I saw the vcd in the Chinatown shops. A few weeks later, I was lucky enough to catch director Kant Leung's Chinese Midnight Express 2 at NYC's now shuttered Music Palace. I was immediately fascinated with Mr. Leung and his films. In my early days at the University, I was fascinated, and influenced, by the philosphy of Emmanuel Kant. I was intrigued by a Hong Kong filmmaker who would choose 'Kant' as an English name.
Although the featured stars are Josie Ho [Slow Fade, Purple Storm] and Kristy Yang [Portland Street Blues, The Storm Riders], Sexy and Dangerous II is a break-out film for Samuel Leung. This young actor has made a career in 'B' movies picking up roles that Sam Lee turned down in favor of bigger budget movies. He has the same rubbery, homely face that's used for comic effect. His character in this film is a triad doofus who's always in some kind of trouble. After his girlfriend's father sexually abuses her younger sister, Leung's 'Log' takes the rap when the older sibling slashes the old man's throat. This heroic action by Log opens a conflict between his triad boss [Tony Ho] and a rival boss [Michael Tong] that sets off the bloody final act.
After seven months, I'm having trouble finding a way to explain why I like this film so much. There is something about the characters that I find fascinating and this comes through the quirky performances of several cast members. Kristy Yang is great as the scooter-riding pizza delivery girl with attitude. Tony Ho is completely over the top in his performance as the drug dealing bad guy.
Frankly, the plot of the film is not that great; a fairly typical triad youth revenge story so popular with HK audiences. It is, after all, a sequel to a spin-off of Young and Dangerous. Much of the exposition of the story is done in two extended dialogue scenes with Samuel Leung and his 'girlfriend' as they walk the busy streets of Hong Kong. Shot 'cinema-verite', these are very forceful, compelling sequences when edited between the standard 3 acts of the unfolding melodrama.
Working with a limited budget, producer Lee Siu Kei and director Kant Leung have crafted a very fine film. After numerous viewings, Sexy and Dangerous II is one of my favorite movies of 2000.copyright 2001 J. Crawford