Hong Kong Digital
is a recurring series of movie reviews by John Charles -- a film
reviewer for Video Watchdog magazine and the author of The Hong
Return To Dark
Anthony Wong Chau-sang, Ken Wong Hap-Hei, Eric Moo Kai-yin (left to right). Image courtesy Universe.
When security guard Brick (Ken Wong Hap-hei) learns how Officer Ko (Singapore actor Eric Moo Kai-yin) got into hot water with the Internal Affairs department, he makes a point of befriending the troubled man. An honest cop, Ko has been suspended over a skirmish with his partner (who was trying to make off with some impounded triad money and died when Ko accidentally pushed him into the path of an oncoming van) and his prospects of evading jail time look bad.
Ken Wong and Michael Tse Tin-wah. Image courtesy Universe.
After having offended a gang boss, Brick is in need of quick cash, so he enlists a delivery man (Michael Tse Tin-wah) and a dimwitted toy salesman (Anthony Wong Chau-sang) in a plan to rob the hideout of local bookie, Mad Dog (James Ha Chim-see, who also served as the film's action director). Needing a gun for protection, Brick also brings in Ko (sporting an illegal piece that he intends to kill himself with). The group pulls the job, making off with a cool $7 million, and head their separate ways after dividing the spoils. Naturally, these amateurs are about to get more than they bargained for, as vicious killers OK and Mucho (Joey Meng Yee-man and Blackie Ko Shou-liang respectively, both sporting blonde wigs) are soon on their trail.
James Ha Chim-see. Image courtesy Universe.
Director Tony Leung Hung-wah (QUEENIE & KING THE LOVERS) and cinematographer Yip Wai-ying really overdo it with the visual design (this movie isn't in color, it's in black and blue) but RETURN TO DARK is a passable, albeit thoroughly minor, caper thriller. The storyline is old hat and Anthony Wong's eccentric (and seemingly insane) character is tiresome but there are a couple of worthwhile twists in the final act and it is fun to see Meng (best known in the West for THE BRIDE WITH WHITE HAIR 2 and enjoying notoriety in HK for her role in ATV's MY DATE WITH A VAMPIRE) in a very atypical role.
Joey Meng Yee-man. Image courtesy Universe.
Michael Tse and Anthony Wong. Image courtesy Universe.