Motorway: Furious and Fast—Movie

Shown as part of the 18th Annual Made in Hong Kong Film Festival (DC) at the FreerΙSackler Gallery,  “Motorway” brings to mind “The Fast and the Furious” coupled with the ferociousness of the “ The French Connection” and the sensibility of “Drive.”

Directed by Hong Kong director, Pou-Soi Cheang, with original story by American Joey O’Bryan and screenplay by O’Bryan and Kam-Yuen Szeto (Hong Kong), “Motorway” is the story of a secret police unit charged with monitoring and hunting down illegal auto racers.

Shawn Yue, as Sean, is a brash rookie on the secret unit with a huge chip on his shoulder and the skills of a race car driver. In his mind he’s saddled with a by-the-book veteran, Lo (Anthony Wong Chau-Sang) who’s overly cautious and just gets in his way. It’s when Sean nails an infamous get-away driver only to be outmaneuvered by him mentally and physically twice that he comes to appreciate the unknown…to him…skills of his partner.motorway-2012

The car chase sequences are phenomenal as are the shots of the drivers. The problem is that there are too many chases and many of them are in the dark. They become boring and sometimes hard to follow. Thankfully the drivers have markedly different colored cars so we can tell who is who.

“Motorway”‘isn’t all car chases, however. We do get a bit of romance in the form of Barbie Hsu which brings a much-needed lightness to the story.

Recipient of  both the Best Picture and Best Director awards by the Hong Kong Film Critics Association,”Motorway” is not without its merits. It is fun to see the Hong-Kong take on action films, especially in the hands of its renowned director. I just wish it was a little more interesting.

The Festival runs through August 4.

2 nuggets out of 4

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