Generic Triad movie but it's brilliant cast and dark themes make it entertaining.
Charismatic Louis Koo is David Chow, a small-time businessman whose successful rise in the triad underworld comes in a deliberate means to an end. He's forced to join the triad of Boss Sing (Alex Fong) in order to bail out his buddy (Edmund So). Ann (Kristy Yang), the girl David loves works at a bar and catches the eye of Boss Sing who attempts to win her heart honestly. A clash between David and Sing seems inevitable.
Rules Of The Game is standard Triad affair. You are getting what it says on the tin. Expect lots of bad-ass knifes getting swung around as nameless gang members are getting chopped and stabbed. The story isn't very original and themes and ideas have been borrowed from other HK gangster flicks. But all this isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you like Triad films then you will like this. It really doesn't glamorise Triad lifestyle at all.
The cast all do a great job. Louis Koo is brilliant as David, full of charisma and comes across as a real bad ass. Alex Fong plays the role of Sing with so much conviction he is almost likeable, even though he commits some horrendous crimes. Kristy Yang lights up her role with charm and innocence. The only real let down is Sam Lee, a brilliant actor that has a role where he doesn't get to shine like his usual self.
Some of the music is fantastic in the montages and the others are downright cheesy. A few of the musical queues are extremely questionable and you have to wonder if this melodrama was supposed to gauge more of an emotional reaction in these scenes.
It all comes down to a conclusion which is half exciting and half a let down. Definitely shocking, but a more satisfying ending is expected after everything that unfolds.
Not the best Triad film, but certainly not the worst. See it for the performances, the wacky story, the violence and have a few beers and enjoy.
See this film if you liked:
Young and Dangerous
Colours of The Loyalty
Jiang Hu (Triad Underworld)