Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Film Review: On The Edge (2006)

On The Edge (Review)
China/2006
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"On The Edge keeps you on the edge throughout..."

After working undercover with Hong Kong's rising triads for eight years, Harry Sin (Nick Cheung) returns to the police force for ordinary cop work. However, Harry's colleagues, like his hard-boiled partner Lung (Anthony Wong), have trouble trusting him...

On The Edge tells the story of the Harry's past and present at the same time. One moment, we'll see Harry discussing his past actions with Lung, then we'll see those actions play out in a seamless flashback. The story finds Harry struggling to gain the trust of his partners, as well as struggling to cut his ties with the criminal underworld. Its main focus is Harry and his character, and the struggle within, which is influenced by those on both sides -- his coworkers and his former friends. This short crime thriller ferociously leads to a thrilling climax and a tense ending.

On The Edge follows a basic yet interesting premise. It is a crime thriller, but it also feels like a character study. It's not very deep, but it does take time to develop Harry and his struggles. As for the thrills, On The Edge keeps you on the edge (<you like that play on words? no? okay...) throughout with its suspenseful encounters and dialogue exchanges, as well as its thrilling action sequences. Considering its short runtime, On The Edge has very little filler, but, at the same time, I wish it delved deeper into Harry's psyche. This is one of the rare occasions I felt a film was too short for the subject. Otherwise, its action, suspense, thrills, and slick style offer more than enough entertainment.

Nick Cheung is great, I enjoyed watching his character evolve, and he delivers great, genuine emotion during the end -- you can really feel the panic and suspense. Anthony Wong is great as well, playing a tough cop with an attitude, and surprisingly playing it very calm yet intimidating. The film is shot nicely, I like the camerawork and cinematography. Also, the music was very unique for the genre, and I loved it. Director Herman Yau delivers a clean cut film with great balance and consistency; I hoped it would focus more on the undercover work and his tailings, but the short runtime hindered those expectations.

Overall, On The Edge is a great crime thriller. It moves at a fast pace, it's stylized well, and it offers plenty of suspense and thrills. It feels a bit light due to the runtime, but it still manages to offers an interesting story.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood, and some very brief nudity and sex.

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