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'Chasing the Dragon' is Old School Hong Kong Gangster Mayhem with Donnie Yen and Andy Lau

Praise be! Hong Kong sleazemeister Wong Jing has co-directed Chasing the Dragon, an unapologetically chaotic and violent new gangster movie that recalls the sleaziest and most violent Hong Kong gangster flicks of the 80s and 90s!

Just check out the trailer below.

Based on a true story, Donnie Yen plays gang boss Ng Sek-Ho, otherwise nicknamed "Crippled Ho" for reasons that will become apparent as the story unfolds, and Andy Lau plays his corrupt top cop ally Liu Lok, otherwise known as Lee Rock.

The movie traces Crippled Ho's arrival in Hong Kong, his rise to power in the Triads and his friendship with rising policeman Lee Rock, his path to becoming a drug kingpin with the help of the police and his ruthless wars with rival gangs, including the British.

Chasing the Dragon is a kind of remake of the 1991 gangster biopic To Be Number One, which charts the rise and fall of Crippled Ho. Andy Lau had previously played Lee Rock in a two-part movie back in 1991, so you could say this is a reboot of both movies.

They made a lot of lurid, ultra-violent gangster movies in Hong Kong back in the 1980s and 1990s and it was glorious. It was like the Warner Brothers gangster movies of the 1930s, only much more violent and souped up. Gangster movies have fallen by the wayside in recent decades after the handover back to China, but every now and then we get some new ones as filmmakers find ways to address social anxieties and political subtexts in the genre.

Hong Kong genre movies now are almost always rich with subtexts, including about their fraught relationship with Mainland China. With most producers looking to release their movies wide in China in order to earn a decent return at the box office, movies that are defiantly about Hong Kong are less likely to open in China, so for a director to deliberately make a movie aimed mainly at Hong Kong audiences is a financial risk but offers more creative freedom and control.

WellGo USA has picked up the US distribution rights, so Chasing the Dragon will be opening at AMC theatres in the US in a few weeks before eventually coming to Netflix.

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Adi TantimedhAbout Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist who just likes to writer. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.
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