Saturday, February 18, 2006

Xia dai Gao Fei, or Full Contact, a Review

Full Contact is one of those movies you will watch and either like, or not. It stars Chow Yun-Fat as a thief with a good heart. He plays Godfrey who is a kick-ass martial artist and looks really good riding a motorcycle in tight jeans. I was quite surprised at how good he looked in this movie. I am used to seeing him in the police dramas where he is playing a hard smoking, gun toting cop. In those movies he is in a three piece suit or at least a suit jacket. For Full Contact (done in 1993) he is younger, and giving a tough showing for his character of Godfrey who is double crossed by his best friend Sam, who even marries Godfrey's "widow", Mona, and makes a life for himself in the criminal world in Hong Kon.

The character of "Judge" played by Simon Yam is one of the most flamboyant homosexuals I have seen portrayed in a while. His boyfriend is so nelly you can't help but want to walk up and slap him for no other reason than being nelly! (There are some of you out there who will understand exactly what I am talking about!) And you would crack up doing it!

Judge is a bad guy. He makes no pretenses about it. He has stolen some ammo from the United States government and plans on selling it for a considerable profit. Godfrey helped to steal this ammo and was shot, by Sam (Anthony Wong ) when the robbery was complete. Why was Godfrey shot? Because it was a personal favor to Hung, another really bad guy. Judge agreed. It was business.

Godfrey escapes a burning house with the daughter of the innocent family that Judge and his gang killed. The girl is badly burned. When Godfrey is in the boat escaping the bad guys and fast approaching police in Thailand, which is where the story begins, he discovers a little black and white dog that doesn't have a name apparently and so the three of them make it to safety to a Buddhist monk.

The monk helps Godfrey's wounds heals and Godfrey, in turn, helps to take care of the girl.

Through the entire movie you can see how Godfrey wants to make everything right. He wants to give the girl money to make up a little for her being so badly burned and for the killing of her parents, which he feels is his fault. He wants to show Sam people can be good, and, as a thief, no one should ever get hurt during a robbery. It is more than just honor among thieves but "honesty." As for Mona, Godfrey is still very much in love with her, but he lets her make up her own mind, after all - he didn't get in touch with her to let her know he was still alive.

There is a lot of action in this movie. There is a lot of blood. There is a rawness that may turn some people off. Through the entire film there is an honesty of brilliant character that simply cannot be denied. It is a great action movie. It is also a very thinking movie in the way Godfrey goes about his revenge. It is a love story with many complications.

I say, see it. It's good.

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