Another week, another Johnnie To release, though this isn’t quite on the same level as the HK crime maestro’s ‘Exiled’, reviewed last week. It’s far from negligible though, and if the script’s not fully formed, the director’s unruffled poise and the striking nocturnal camerawork are a source of pleasure in themselves. To regular Simon Yam is on patrol with the Police Tactical Unit (hence the title), a uniformed psycho with few qualms about rough-housing suspects or bending the regulations to help out bumbling police detective Lam Suet, who’s lost his gun in an altercation with a group of young tearaways who took off unaware their gang leader was about to be offed. The murder investigation and the missing firearm provide just enough plot to get the movie through the night, even though the character relationships are on the sketchy side. Still, the point of the exercise is really the unfolding of sundry edgy night-time encounters and action set-pieces, each constructed with To’s customary patience, while his vision of Hong Kong after dark exudes an eerie calm that’s cumulatively hypnotic.
Cast and crew
Kin Yee Au, Yau Nai-Hoi