Protégé (18)

Film

Gangster films

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Time Out rating:

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Time Out says

Tue Apr 15 2008

In a crumbling Hong Kong tenement, Nick (Daniel Wu) is worried that the single mum next door is rather more dedicated to her heroin habit than her little daughter. His compassion is complicated, however, by the fact that he’s a cop, working undercover for the past eight years for drugs lord ‘Banker’ (a grey-flecked Andy Lau).

An arrest is tantalisingly close thanks to Nick’s inside knowledge, yet having gained the narcotics baron’s confidence, he’s now due to inherit the business as the latter contemplates retirement. If the question of Wu’s loyalty is far from cut-and-dried in this superior crime drama, what’s not in doubt is ‘One Nite in Mongkok’ director Yee’s desire to expand on the familiar HK celluloid crimescape.

A documentary impetus delineates the steps of the drugs distribution network, for instance, and while the action set-pieces have punch, they’re secondary to character drama, where credible father-son interplay adds warmth to the chilly existential challenges of the undercover operation. No straight-ahead genre flick this, but an uncommonly absorbing human story.
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Release details

Rated:

18

UK release:

Fri Apr 18, 2008

Duration:

106 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Louis Koo, Daniel Wu, Andy Lau

Director:

Derek Yee

Screenwriter:

Derek Yee

Producer:

Venus Keung

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5