ASIAN FILM - Review
11:00 - 31st May 2014, by Calum Waddell

Motorway

With a cast headed by Anthony Wong, and promises of "high-octane fun" on the cover, one could be forgiven for expecting some fast-paced thrills in this Hong Kong police actioner. Unfortunately, the end result really lacks the peddle-to-the-metal malevolence that one might hope for from director Pou-Soi Cheang, who was last seen undertaking the more menacing shocker Accident (2009) and has been overseeing the forthcoming Donnie Yen / Chow Yun Fat blockbuster The Monkey King.

In this initially interesting caper, a rookie cop called Cheung (Shawn Yue) is seen pursuing a drag racer through the streets of Hong Kong. However, Cheung makes a major mistake when he leaves his superior to continue the chase and is later taken under the wings of Wong - the elder of an undercover 'motorway' force that tracks down competitive underworld drivers and arrests them. Before the end credits, there will be shootings and some impressively staged highway pursuits through the roads of Kowloon, but there is a lack of real urgency here, and the fetishism between man and machine is probably only of interest to the most devoted of car-enthusiasts.

On the plus side, Wong - who has been quietly maturing into more and more age-friendly roles - is his usual excellent self, even if NEO would love to see one final bow from the great performer in a 'bad guy' role ala Hard Boiled or The Untold Story. As it is, Motorway is a fine distraction for 90 minutes, but it does nothing to fill us with confidence for the future of Hong Kong action cinema.

Motorway brakes for too much exposition to really hit first gear. A pity - this is well made but takes too much time to spurt out some exhaust fumes...
SCORE: 2.5/5
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