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PTU: Police Tactical Unit

3.0 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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(Mar 25, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Follows a police tactical unit during one dangerous night on the streets of Hong Kong. The tough, single-minded team has until dawn to recover a cop's stolen gun and clean up the accompanying mess, but things take a deadly twist when their mission intersects with a web of gangland crimes.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Maggie Shiu, Ruby Wong, Simon Yam, Jerome Fung, Ko Hung
  • Directors: Johnny To
  • Format: Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Cantonese
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Genius Products (TVN)
  • DVD Release Date: March 25, 2008
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to over 75 destinations outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B0010X7432
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,404 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Johnnie To's police drama/dark comedy about a night with Hong Kong's PTU is a taut, efficient piece of cinema.

The movie follows the events that transpired when a roguish anti-organized crime police officer loses his gun after a confrontation with some young gang members. A roving team of PTU chances upon him. Since he is up for promotion, he asks the PTU not to report the loss of the gun. Despite objections from other officers, the squad leader (Simon Yam) promises to help him find it. These set a chain of events that will lead to major repercussions in the Hong Kong underworld.

The joy of watching PTU is in the intense, dead-pan performance and the chuckles brought by the darkly-humorous situations, even if the movie's plot and resolution is highly reminiscent of Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels with some elements of InterMission (although this came before the Irish movie).

A film about honor, duty, and commitment, PTU is well worth a watch, if not a purchase. It is not a "loud" movie, as compared to stereotypical HK police films. One of the best I've seen in the genre, the somewhat predictable ending notwithstanding.

What prevents me from giving this a perfect score is the VERY cheesy 80s era guitar/synth score. To think this film was made in 2003, Johnnie To could've used a less-grating/irritating musical score that would've accentuate the mood of the film. Normally, I wouldn't mind but the soundtrack was so intrusive and yes, I will say again, very cheesy, you cannot help but not notice it.

Although, not in the level of the first Infernal Affairs, PTU is still a solid addition to one's Asian movie collection.
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Format: DVD
PTU (Police Tactical Unit) is the handiwork of award-winning Hong Kong director; Johnnie To(Full-time Killer, Exiled, Breaking News). I've always read that Johnnie To is the epitome of hard-boiled cool, his films usually have that dark, gritty style with sly humor and stylized, intense gunfights. PTU's screenplay all happens in one evening, and while its premise is quite simple, with a script not as polished as "Infernal Affairs", To's signature style is still represented quite proudly.

Synopsis derived from the dvd back cover:
Set against a TsimSha Tsui that never sleeps, a stolen police sidearm triggers a suspenseful chain of events. Tracking down the missing gun before dawn, police inspector Lo (Lam Suet, Dog Bite Dog) gets his car vandalized, then he gets beaten up by street thugs. Suddenly, he is wedged between two gangs on a brink of a bloodbath. While staving off investigations by both the anti-vice squad and homicidal unit embroiled in a turf war. His only lifeline is a maverick team of Police Tactical Unit headed by a cop named Mike Ho (Simon Yam, Exiled) who helps him search for his missing gun.

PTU stands for Police Tactical Unit, the film itself uses a very simple premise. But the film is full of the usual Johnnie To signature. Characters, all threads collide in one night, high contrasting light versus dark. A natural minimalization versus a deep sense of dark humor. The film has a very cool and precise timing in its proceedings that the film is a gritty visual ballet.

The delight of watching To's films is the way the scenes unfold; questions are answered and more questions arise.
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Format: DVD
First off, I got this DVD from the bargain bin of the local mega store and didn't place much high expectation on it.

I do have to agree that the title PTU (Police Tactical Unit) was misleading, since the majority of the police portrayed were what we termed `street' cops, walking their beats, not some special tactical units; throughout the movie, all the uniformed and plain-cloth polices were equipped with revolvers instead of the higher capacity automatics, thus no black-clad, helmeted SWAT members armed with submachine guns or assault rifles with limitless ammunition. Sorry to disappointed on that count.

If viewers were expecting some fast action, butt-kicking, Jet Li or Jackie Chan type action flicks, they would be highly disappointed. Though it could not be categorized as a thinking men's crime movie, it is nonetheless, a thought-provoking one, complete with anticipations of every next encounters... literally, around every corners. The whole movie revolved around events all happened within one fateful evening.

What makes this movie very different than others is the very `novel' and yet unique way that just about every character that came onto the screen had something, some part in the overall scheme of the plot! At the same time, there were a couple of red herrings threw in just to make it more interesting, making the viewers wondered just what parts these characters played only to find out they offered false leads.

This movie does raise the question of what makes a good cop, a by-the-book character or someone who is willing to bend some rules and rough up some baddies to get the job done.
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