"Full Contact" Commentary

DVD cover

Commentary done between myself (Neil, aka Gweilo) and "Tai Young-kang" from The China Dragon on 7/18/02

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When you see the speaker icon, click on it to hear some sounds.

Gweilo: This is one of the last great movies to come out of Hong Kong's "Golden Age".

Tai Young-kang: I like it because it is the good kind of trash.

Gweilo: Totally wild and over the top, just like any good action movie should be. They don't waste any time. Right away you know there is going to be lots of sex and violence. Plus Simon Yam is so damn cool.

Tai Young-kang: And he's gay. I don't know if I've ever seen a homosexual villian before.

Gweilo: Well, there have been ones that have been inferred or total "flamers". He plays it with style and class.

Tai Young-kang: Right, I guess somehow I just completely forgot about every Peter Lorre film.

Gweilo: I love the soundtrack for this movie. Even though I hate Extreme, their song is perfect for a strip club.

Tai Young-kang: Ah, Anne Bridgewater. How did she get a name like that? American? Canadian-born maybe?

Gweilo: Yeah, she is Canadian, I think. She is a lawyer now.

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I don't think that's what they mean by "legal briefs".


The only time this wussy-ass hair metal song was EVER cool.

Tai Young-kang: Really? What is even more amazing is that Virgin (Bonnie Fu) went on to play such a kind dying mother in "My Father is a Hero".

Gweilo: You know, I never made that connection before. Anthony Wong is really good in this too. This was back when he seemed to care about acting.

Tai Young-kang: I disagree. I think this was Wong's first film, and he just doesn't have it here.

Gweilo: The famous Chow "thumb lick", totally stylish.

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Tastes like chicken! Mmmmm... chicken.

Tai Young-kang: A lot of people didn't like Chow here, and Ringo Lam said he was too fat.

Gweilo: This first fight sets the tone of the movie, it is so totally opposite what Chow did in Woo's movies. As for Chow's physique, being "fat" fits in with the character I think. Someone with a Stallone physique would look too good and out of place.

Tai Young-kang: I agree. I like this film because it is a little different from other Lam films, and it is a departure from his roles with Woo. Switchblades instead of double-fisted hand guns.

Gweilo: It's not like usual suave gangster stuff. These people have kind of reached the end of the line, and the dirty unpolished look of the movie fits that.

Tai Young-kang: Well, I think the point is "where do you go when you've reached the end of the line and then have to cross it?" You're desperately trying to get back to the moment in time when you were nothing.

Gweilo: It reminds me of westerns. Ringo Lam said he wanted the movie to be in Thailand because it's like the world's last frontier.

Tai Young-kang: As Lam and Chow found out years earlier, which inspired a scene in "A Better Tomorrow".

Gweilo: Yeah, the piss-drinking scene. I've been in a lot of screwed-up situations in bars, but thankfully nothing like that!

Tai Young-kang: I hate bars. They remind me of this movie -- very dark and disturbing.

Gweilo: Man, I wish someone would do a good DVD of this. The subtitles are really horrible. "Be gentle!"

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Them's fightin' words where I come from!

Tai Young-kang: Yeah, I noticed that. Better than some though. The VCD of "Kung Fu Cult Master" is terrible.

Gweilo: I think Simon Yam would make a really good Bond villain. He has that kind of creepy/crazy/suave thing going on here.

Tai Young-kang: Possibly. He was supposed to be the villain in "The Replacement Killers," but he didn't like the script. I think Kenneth Tsang did a fine job though.

Gweilo: One of the best lines in the movie here... "I saw a crab vomiting".

Tai Young-kang: I love the match-ups for the heist. You know these two people in each car were never meant to be.

Gweilo: Yeah, now would be a good time to back out. And, apparently, this kind of stuff goes on a lot in Thailand, because you never see the cops.

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The cops must be occupied with something else.

Tai Young-kang: Bonnie Fu talks and laughs so much in this film. I wonder if she went on to audition for "The Bride with White Hair" as the evil female twin.

Gweilo: It's like Hong Kong evil person cliche number one: you must go "BUHAHHAHA" incessantly.

Tai Young-kang: Who is the actor playing Chung? I don't recognize him off-hand.

Gweilo: I'm not sure.

Tai Young-kang: Supposedly, in the coming sequences, Lam wanted the cast to use real guns, but they refused.

Gweilo: Yeah, he wanted even more explosions and for them to stay in the house longer after it was on fire. There is also a Spanish version which has more gore in this part. Anthony cuts out a guy's eyes and gives them to Simon.

Tai Young-kang: Somewhere I heard that Simon Yam's character actually eats those eyes too.

Gweilo: Yeah, you can kind of see it in this print. Anthony walks out holding something bloody in his hand. Oh, NOW here comes Thailand's finest. They must have run out of donuts.

Tai Young-kang: Or whatever the police munch on in Thailand -- perhaps dried squid?

Gweilo: And now it's the song that everyone asks about. It's Alan Tam's "This World is Insane". And I have to say Chow is pretty brave swimming in the river here. There's gotta be a lot of floating poop in that water.

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"Hey, is that Pampers I taste?"


Probably Chow was getting sick of hearing this guitar lick every five minutes.

Tai Young-kang: Among other things probably. Are we to assume that Anne Bridgewater had herself committed after Chow's supposed death?

Gweilo: Maybe had a nervous breakdown or something. "Doing buisness is like shitting", a classic line.

Tai Young-kang: The foley could have definitely used some work in the movie. The gun blasts sound terrible.

Gweilo: I think it's the shitty mix. There is a really bad echo on the DVD.

Tai Young-kang: More than likely, especially when that car pulled up a few minutes ago. The sound just lingers and then fades.

Gweilo: Like a lot of Hong Kong movies, it would benefit from a bit of spit and polish.

Tai Young-kang: Don't get me wrong, Anthony Wong is scum in this film. I just don't think he's the finely tuned scum he is in future roles.

Gweilo: Well, yeah, you can't match Sam with the guy from "Ebola Syndrome".

Tai Young-kang: I've yet to see that one, but I've heard plenty about it. Maybe some day.

Gweilo: Look at the size of that "portable" phone Anthony uses! I gotta get one like that and kick it oldschool.

Tai Young-kang: And it only costs $8 a minute too!

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"Not only do I get crystal-clear reception, I build my biceps at the same time!"

Tai Young-kang: What's with the swastika on the wall?

Gweilo: I have no idea. A swastika is actually a good luck symbol in Buddhism though.

Tai Young-kang: You got it. Yet another Hitler fuck up, just like the term "Aryan".

Gweilo: I think they do a good job using lighting and color to set the mood in this movie.

Tai Young-kang: The lighting plays a key role in this film, because it is obvious what is happening with each character through the use of lighting.

Gweilo: Yeah, they use a lot of natural light, or lack of it. A kind of film noir effect.

Tai Young-kang: I like Virgin's salute to "Full Metal Jacket" by wearing a peace symbol, which makes her a walking contradiction of herself.

Gweilo: What a romantic Anthony is, he brings Virgin to the train tracks. Something tells me that her panties have to be smelling a bit funky, what with walking around all day in that humid weather.

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"Can't we just cuddle?"

Tai Young-kang: Well, the name "Virgin" alone is a contradiction. This is what I like about "Full Contact" it is a junk food movie -- fun to watch, but bad for you.

Gweilo: And Anthony proves himself to be a two-pump chump. He's pulling an Al Bundy.

Tai Young-kang: I heard for the VHS release of the film that Virgin's antics are heavily cut, namely this sex scene and when she's going for "the big O" back with Chow in the car.

Gweilo: Yeah, the sex scene is longer on the DVD. It's not a huge difference though. Not like I would have liked to see more of Anthony. At least he keeps his clothes on.

Tai Young-kang: Though he still retains the look of an out-of-work Japanese porn star throughout the entire film.

Gweilo: But he doesn't have the porn star mustache... but his yellow sunglasses do come close.

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"Hey, Anthony, Ron Jeremy called and he wants his sunglasses back."


Anthony doesn't take fashion criticism lightly.

Tai Young-kang: There's a lot of symbolism in this film too, in this scene and in others. Train running during the sex scene, putting this guy on ice, and so on.

Gweilo: Oh, I missed the obvious Freudian symbolism of that sex scene. The ice part is cool. My favorite shot of the movie is when Chow stabs that guys hand in the ice, simple but effective.

Tai Young-kang: I think Keith Allison said "Full Contact" was a Hong Kong re-working of an old '50s film.

Gweilo: I didn't know that. They didn't have Virgin in there that's for sure.

Gweilo: Simon's gay henchmen are pretty silly looking. Oooh, I'm scared!

Tai Young-kang: Yeah, I've seen homosexuals that were a lot more frightening -- take Boy George for instance. Bad translation here with "her mouth stinks".

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A little more info than we needed to know.

Gweilo: Well, that is a common bad translation. "Your mouth is full of stink!" Probably one of those phrases that doesn't translate to English.

Tai Young-kang: Kinda like when I heard Tony Leung say "Be cool. Dude." in "Hard Boiled".

Gweilo: Probably the only time you will hear a line from Public Enemy in a Hong Kong movie is during this cheesy techno song. "I want you to die terribly!" Oh man, this is either really bad or really good. And now the biker from the Village People is beating up poor Anthony.

Tai Young-kang: Yeah, talk about gay -- we haven't even touched Frankie Chan's part in this film, even if Virgin is his woman.

Gweilo: Yeah, just a little overcompensation there. I mean just look at the haircut! The famous "bulletcam" gunfight, which is still pretty cool despite the bullets looking cheesy now.

Tai Young-kang: I like it better than others I've seen.

Gweilo: That one shot where the Village People guy gets shot in the guy is great.

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Nothing like brain gibs to give a movie production value.

Tai Young-kang: How many subtitles have Chow's characters as Western names that start with J? I think his Cantonese name here is Ko Fei.

Gweilo: I don't know. I think the translators usually just pick either a generic name or something silly like Judge.

Tai Young-kang: But you gotta love "Virgin" -- fits this film to a tee.

Gweilo: Yeah, I think that is a literal translation and sometimes those fit well.

Tai Young-kang: Often the people subtitling the film translate everything to English literally. Which is why there are no plurals or words like "a" or "the".

Gweilo: You know, Chow did a pretty good job of taking that bullet out for a guy with only one decent hand.

Tai Young-kang: Now, that is actually something that is reminicsant of Woo. Removing bullets while conscious.

Gweilo: It's kind of an action movie cliche, a tough guy thing to do. I'd at least want a few shots of Jagermeister or something first.

Tai Young-kang: At least he's not removing a lead pipe and then jumping back into action ala "Rambo III."

Gweilo: "Rambo III", bleh. The only thing decent about that movie was the Genesis game.

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Back when I was a kid, these were the kind of graphics we got excited over. Kind of sad, really.

Tai Young-kang: Aside from the original "First Blood" and "Rocky", Stallone just plain sucks.

Gweilo: "Get Carter" and "Cop Land" weren't bad, but yeah, his old ass needs to retire. That is so bad-ass -- Chow kills the guys while firing, driving and smoking all at the same time.

Tai Young-kang: Hey, it's common knowledge he's multi-talented.

Gweilo: Well, now we know where the movie's budget went. They just blew up like 20 cars for a 5-second shot.

Tai Young-kang: I think they really went for destruction here more than anything. More than likely that is why the sound and stuff like that suffers a bit.

Gweilo: "Masturbate in Hell!" Hah!

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What, no KY?

Gweilo: Would that involve having to look at Rosie O'Donnell lesbian porn videos?

Tai Young-kang: Well, Hell really consists of having to view anything related to Rosie O'Donnell, namely her talk show.

Gweilo: Well, Chow is one tough S.O.B. and manages to ride off into the sunset as it were. Any closing thoughts?

Tai Young-kang: "Full Contact" is problematic, but again this is a junk food movie. Enjoyed devouring it.

Gweilo: Yeah, it's not like it's trying to be "Citizen Kane" or anything, a good brainless action flick with lots of style.

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