Road Rash Reviews

Where the Wind Blows****-

Cert 15 | 144 mins | 2023

4 Star

Cops, Crime and Control.

Philip Yung (Rigor Mortis, May We Chat), directs his first film in seven years, and this is his labour of love, as he addresses the subject of crime in the police force in Hong Kong from the 1940s to the 1980s. So much was controlled by just a few men. Featuring two of Asian cinema’s biggest stars, who get into their roles with true vigor. Thirty dirty years of Asian-British colonial history in one-hundred and twenty-four minutes.

Hong Kong is under British rule since the First Opium War, and now a hundred years later, two young men have become police cadets, Nam Kong (Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Infernal Affairs, In the Mood for Love) and Lui Lok (Aaron Kwok, The Counterfeiter, City Under Siege).

Follow the rules… Who makes the rules? Someone. Not you.

Nam Kong is a crack shot and Lui Lok has no education to speak of, but they will change the face of Hong Kong’s underworld forever. The 1970s and the Triad’s run all the district, and there is chaos on the streets of Hong Kong, as they fight for greener turf. There are also riots on the streets, people want the end of corruption in the police force, as Chief Godber Deputy Supt. of Kowloon, Hong Kong Police Force flees back to the UK, while the government petition Prime Minister Edward Heath to get him back to face the music.

As the new recruits find out that…

Corruption in Hong Kong Police is a way of life.

Taking bribes is an everyday occurrence and all the collected money is divvied up between all the policemen, except Lui who refuses it, and gets beaten for his naivety. But it is not long before Lui comes up with a plan to put the Triads in their place, and make shed loads of money in the process. They will control where and when they can deal their drugs, gambling and sex trades, and they will pay monthly for the privilege of conducting business without the police always on their back if they comply.

As the dynamic duo rise through the ranks, they make more and more money and more influence and invites to posh parties, and this is where Lui and Nom meets the gracious daughter of an entrepreneur Miss Tsai (Du Juan, American Dreams in China, Lost in Hong Kong), whom Lui sets his sights on as he follows her around trying to get her attention. These are some of the light-hearted moments that are interspersed with historical events in the life of Hong Kong, as Japan invaded the island in 1941, and we see the decisions of the previous generation that shape the men we see before us on screen.

There will be trouble ahead, but for now ride the lucrative wave of corruption.

Where the Wind Blows is an intense look into the lives that shaped the face of Hong Kong for thirty years. A true labour of love from the writer/director Philip Yung.

Where the Wind Blows is in Cinema’s Now

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DirectorPhilip Yung
GenreCrime, Drama, Thriller
StarringTony Leung Chiu-wai, Aaron Kwok, Richard Ng, Jessie Li, Patrick Tam
Category: Cinema, Review, Subtitled