• 2007
  • Hong Kong
  • 1h 48min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Derek Yee
  • Written by: Derek Yee
  • Cast: Andy Lau, Daniel Wu, Louis Koo, Anita Yuen, Zhang Jingchu
  • Language: Cantonese (dubbed in Mandarin with English and Chinese subtitles in Singapore)
  • Website:

'One Nite in Mongkok' cemented the reputation of Hong Kong director Yee as a master of the cat and mouse thriller. After 'Mongkok' Yee made two poor romantic comedies 'Young' and 'Drink-Drank-Drunk'), so the good news is that 'Protégé' is a return to the thriller genre and, more importantly, entertaining. In the style of 1949's 'White Heat', 'Protégé' is a far more traditional take on the genre in which it's clear that the undercover cop Nick (Wu) is the good guy and the Hong Kong drug lord (Lau) is on the wrong side of the moral compass. Indeed, the sanctimonious anti-drugs message is so grating at times that 'Protégé' is ultimately hamstrung by it. This is especially true of a secondary story, which sees Nick attempting to help his beautiful neighbour Fan (Chu) overcome her heroin addiction for the sake of her young daughter. Nevertheless, there is much to admire in the excellent cinematography, the pulsating chases and the hugely effective but sparing use of violence.

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