Director: Phillip Ko
Stars: Yukari Oshima, Simon Yam, Phillip Ko, Dick Wei, Francis Ng
Phillip Ko's movies are normally known for being really low-budget and no good, so when one comes around that is actually worth your time, it's worth noting. The plot here is the usual Ko stuff -- a customs agent is drawn into a war between factions in the Golden Triangle after his friend tries to bribe him into looking the other way -- but the script is actually coherent and offers some good characterization for the actors to work with.
Speaking of which, there is a solid cast at work here. It might not be an "all-star" lineup for most people, but compared with most of Ko's other works, it is. It also helps matters that Final Run looks like it was made for more than sixty-nine cents and a case of returnable Coke bottles. Again, this isn't a big-budget affair, but at least it looks like they could afford a competent crew. Though Final Run doesn't totally avoid the usual Phillip Ko low-budget traps -- the film obviously uses stock footage in parts, and some of the music is taken from other movies like Aliens.
Despite its' problems, Final Run rewards Hong Kong action movie fans with mayhem and lots of it. Again, we're not talking top of the line here, but it is damn good for a B-movie. The fights are all co-ordinated and filmed well, which shows that it's not the budget, but rather the talent, that makes a good action sequence. Of particular note are the stunts -- the people here took some mad bumps, and that makes Final Run more exciting to watch than many other low-budget action films. Final Run is probably Phillip Ko's best movie. That might not mean much, but at least with this one you won't be bored to tears or have your intelligence insulted. If you're willing to forgive a little for the sake of action, then you could do a lot worse than a viewing of Final Run.
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