Year of release: 2000
The Blood Rules
Michael Wong. Image courtesy of Universe.
Michael Wong always has had a Keanu Reeves-type vibe going around him. If the movie's good, he looks good, and if it's bad, he looks horrible. The Blood Rules is a case of the former. It's nothing earth-shattering in terms of action or orginality, but it's got style to burn, along with a good script, which sets it above similiar fare.
The story has Wong, Suki Kwan, Lam Suet and Jackie Lui as a professional robbery/assassination group who decide to take one last job and rob a crime lord. Jackie has a bitchy, money-hungry girlfriend, and so he tries to complete the robbery himself. The plan backfires and sets off a chain of events that threaten to violate the "blood rules" and tear the crime "family" apart.
Jackie Lui, Michael Wong, Suki Kwan and Lam Suet (from left to right). Image courtesy of Universe.
This is fairly standard crime movie stuff, but things are enlivened by a strong script that manages to give the characters some depth without hammering the viewer over the head with each and every little detail of their lives. Like many editors turned directors, first-timer Marco Mak tends to favor the visual element, giving the story a crisp pace. There are a few scenes which are very nicely done which manage to get a lot of emotion and exposition across without having to depend of long strands of cliched dialogue.
Things are not all rosy here, though. For the most part, the acting is very lackluster. It is done well (even Michael Wong does a good job), but there is not anything truly compelling here, and as such it's hard to really care about the characters. Combined with the fairly average action (at least for a HK movie), the movie gets a bit dull at times. I know this might sound a bit contradictory given the above paragraph, but with better acting and/or directing, The Blood Rules could have been a top-notch crime/action film. As such, it's still worth a viewing, but it's probably not going to be considered a "classic" by any means.
Suki Kwan. Image courtesy of Universe.