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Drug War

4.1 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Manufacturing just fifty grams of meth in China will earn you a death sentence. Timmy Choi (Louis Koo) has manufactured tons, and after a violent lab accident, he's in the custody of Captain Zhang (Sun Honglei). Now, he has only one chance to avoid execution: turn informant and help Zhang's undercover team take down the powerful cartel he's been cooking for. But as the uneasy allies rush to execute a months-long operation in just a few days, the increasingly desperate police are quickly stretched past their limits. As things spin wildly out of control, the line between duty and recklessness is blurred, and it becomes unclear whether Zhang or Choi actually has the upper hand. Long considered the master of the Hong Kong crime thriller, Johnnie To's first mainland production eschews "two guns at once" mayhem in favor of atmosphere and a tightly-wound plot punctuated with impeccably choreographed bursts of startlingly realistic violence, in this intricate puzzle box of a film that ignited a firestorm of controversy in its homeland upon its release.

Review

"...masterfully made, high-octane entertainment" --Twitch

"...a nail-biter...edge-of-your-seat material --Variety

"...gritty, uncompromising and hugely exhilarating" --Screen International

Product Details

  • Actors: Louis Koo, Honglei Sun, Michelle Ye, Crystal Huang
  • Directors: Johnnie To
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: Cantonese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • DVD Release Date: October 15, 2013
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00DSQTMRA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,897 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Sawin VINE VOICE on July 21, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
"Drug War" begins with Choi behind the wheel of a car, puking out of a window, driving recklessly, and crashing into a restaurant. That's a hell of a way to start a film. You're thrown into the drug operation in Jinhai currently run by Anti-Drug Squad leader Captain Zhang. Zhang's team is always going undercover with Sun Honglei portraying at least five different characters over the course of the film. Honglei is a chameleon and mimics body movements, facial expressions, voices, and stories of other characters in the film to near perfection.

Zhang impersonates Haha in one of the best scenes of the film during their meeting with Chang. Haha is eccentric, always boasting and bragging about his accomplishments, and has this booming laugh. Seeing Zhang, who's usually soft-spoken and laid back, take on this personality with ease, is incredible. The confrontation with Chang is intense thanks to cocaine making an appearance. The entire sequence has similar tension established in the snorting heroin scene from "Pulp Fiction."

The first hour of the film contains a lot of rising tension not only between Choi and Zhang, but in the meetings with Haha, Chang, and the promise of meeting Bill Li - the biggest amphetamines dealer in town. Nearly all of the action takes place after the one hour mark. The shootout at Choi's larger drug factory in Erzhou featuring the mute brothers is where sequences get really impressive; an explosive firefight of epic proportions. The all-out war near the end by the school manages to top that sequence in size, duration, and the ramifications it leaves the viewer with. Captain Zhang's quote, "Live or die - I'll be with you," echoes heavily through your skull during the final moments of the film.
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Format: Blu-ray
The prolific Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To is easily one of my favorite directors and so the arrival of "Drug War" was met with fairly high expectations in my household. To has crafted some pretty terrific pictures with films such as "Exiled" and "Mad Detective," but I will always hold a special place in my heart for the Election series (2005's Election and 2006's Triad Election). These are the films that helped me discover To and, when watched back to back, have the sweep and grandeur of an Asian Godfather saga. "Drug War" takes place in the criminal underworld that is To's specialty. Populated by undercover cops, enterprising drug lords, and a myriad of soldiers, dealers, and middle men, the movie starts at a frantic pace and never relents. It has an epic scope, to be sure, but that sometimes works toward the movie's disadvantage. To get into the primary storyline, you have to take a pretty big leap of faith as the initiating few minutes has three events coincide at precisely the opportune moment.

As the movie opens up, we see a an undercover sting of a bus at a toll booth. At the exact moment this is going down, a officer notices a suspicious truck and a car following it. At the same moment across town, an accident has caused its driver to be taken to the hospital where the detainees from the bus are being interrogated. Somehow, the lead investigator of the sting also makes time to check out the accident, find a phone, and later it is revealed that the driver of the suspicious truck noticed at the toll booth is repeatedly calling the phone. Got it? It is so convoluted and (let's be honest) ridiculous, it almost had me checking out from the get-go. Once, however, you get past this conceit, "Drug War" becomes an intense ride.
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Format: DVD
A taut and gripping police drama, a harsh look at the Asian drug trade,told thru the eyes of the police using a busted drug cartel leader to lead them down a path of lies and deception, overall that is what this film is about without revealing spoilers and acting like a movie critic,to which I'm not.This is geared towards the action movie fans,especially the ones that miss the John Woo type of films in the past,Love the last 35 minutes of this movie(sheer chaos) all the way to the harsh ending.A message film that is realistic and entertaining as well.A must see for Johnnie To fans.
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Format: Amazon Video
Director and producer Johnnie –To has a long career of action films made in Hong Kong this though is mainland China and if you were worried he may have toned things down then the fretting is over as this is pure Hong Kongese. We start with a man losing control of his car and crashing dramatically into a shop. Then we get Police Drug squad Captain Zhang Lei (Honglei Sum ‘The Road Home’) who realises that this man is actually a wanted drug baron – Tian Ming (Lois Koo). They point out to him that he is facing the death penalty, and they do not mess around in China so this is no idle threat. He agrees to help them snare all the drug dealers in order to save his own skin.

What seems to be the break of a lifetime for our hardworking narcotics cops soon becomes a bit of a game of cat and mouse as all is never what it seems and some of these drug people are rather useful with automatic weapons, semi automatics and just about anything that goes bang or can cause mayhem. The gun battles are very realistic and very full on; the violence is not gratuitous but seems perfectly in place given the situations. The use of vehicles is great too especially the ice cream van.

The acting is all very well done and no expense has been spared – the double crosses are never that well signposted either; so all in all it made for an extremely enjoyable 107 minutes of screen time. Originally released as ‘Du Zhan’ and filmed in Cantonese and Mandarin with good sub titles this is a film for action lovers and those who like a full on rollicking adventure – with some cops and bad guys thrown in for good measure.
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