Young and Dangerous (1996)

Ekin Cheng, Jordan Chan, Gigi Lai, Francis Ng,
Nam opens a bar in Wanchai and continues his rise in Hong Kong's Hung Hing gang. His best friend, Chicken, needs to lie low, so he's sent to Taiwan to work for Lui, leader of the San Luen gang; there, he falls for the aging Lui's ...
  • 7.0 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Cowman, Dickey Yau, Manfred Wong, Writer:
  • Wai-Keung Lau, Director:
  • Jing Wong, Producer:
7 / 10

Young and Dangerous 1...2...3...= Unforgettable Trilogy

Y&D is the best HK Triads Movies ever, even to this day IMO. Y&D 1,2 and 3 are wicked must-see movies that any fan on HK cinema should watch. If you can watch them one after the other, the better.

Unforgettable characters and surprisingly good soundtrack. Standout actors/characters include Ekin Cheng (Lam), Jordan Chan (chicken), Gigi Lai (the gf, especially in Y&D 3) and Francis Ng (the villain from Y&D 1).

Contrary to some ppl's opinion on the lack of plot, I thought that it was quite good, definitely interesting and not boring. The twists were unexpected and the pacing was really good.

I had no problems following the story. My one complaint would be to the translators because it could have been so much better! The subtitles only convey a little more than half the depth and expressions~

Even so, these are still movies that are very entertaining and it's quite an accurate portrayal of HK gangsters. Don't ask me how I know this ;) lol

6 / 10

Actually quite entertaining...

"Young and Dangerous" is a fairly straight forward Hong Kong triad action movie, and it was actually quite good, despite it being semi-old (from 1996).

The story is about the Hung Hing gang, who is part of the triad, but more so, it is the story of a couple of the gang members of that particular part of the triad. Chan Ho Nam (played by Ekin Cheng), 'Chicken' (played by Jordan Chan), Fao Pan (played by Jason Chu) and Yee (played by Michael Tse) who become the key members of the Hung Hing gang, and their struggle against one of the other triad bosses, Kwan (played by Francis Ng), attempts to overthrow and set up the gang. But it is also the story about brotherhood and loyalty.

Although predictable and without any real plot twists, then "Young and Dangerous" was actually good entertainment and the story held up its own. But most memorable was the performances by the cast hired for the various roles; most noticeable was Jordan Chan, Francis Ng and Ekin Cheng in my opinion (and in that given order).

If you are a fan of Hong Kong cinema and enjoy triad/gang member movies, then you definitely have to check out "Young and Dangerous". I bought parts 1, 2 and 3 together, and must say that I am looking forward to seeing the follow-ups.

"Young and Dangerous" is a worthy addition to the DVD collection of any fan of the Hong Kong cinema.

7 / 10

Episodic, entertaining, but without cohesion

The "Young and Dangerous" movies are a series of films about the experiences of young triads in Hong Kong's criminal society. They are based on a Hongkongese comic book known as "Teddy Boy", a fact which would be unknown if not for the movie often cutting to hand-drawn images, revealing how closely the film resembles the comic book.

The film's structure seems to be fairly episodic; there's not much of an overarching narrative that I could detect, and thus the scenes only have power based on the performances. The stand-outs for me were Ekin Cheng as the protagonist and the stunningly beautiful Gigi Lai as his love interest.

Despite being a HK crime flick, "Young and Dangerous" isn't heroic bloodshed; there's very little gunplay and none of the violence is shot in balletic fashion.

Unfortunately, with little cohesion to each scene, "Young and Dangerous"'s power feels muted, especially in its climax; however it is entertaining for most of its run-time.

4 / 10

Teen-idol Triad drama

YOUNG AND DANGEROUS (Gu Huo Zi: Zhi Ren Zai Jiang Hu)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Sound format: Mono

The end of Hong Kong's 'New Wave' revolution - initiated by Tsui Hark's THE BUTTERFLY MURDERS in 1979 and consolidated throughout the 1980's by the likes of John Woo, Ringo Lam, et al - was signalled by the inexplicable commercial success of Andrew Lau's YOUNG AND DANGEROUS, a visually frenetic melding of teen idol actors and old-fashioned Triad sensationalism, adapted from the graphic novels by Niu Lo (aka Kau Man). Ekin Cheng (known at the time under the English name Dior Cheng) plays a rising young star in the Hung Hing society who falls foul of rival gangster Francis Ng (GEN-X COPS), a psychotic killer who covets the Hung Hing leadership for himself. Betrayal and murder ensue, until Cheng and his loyal friends mount a counterattack against Ng, leading to a redemptive finale.

Director Lau also serves as cinematographer on this dog-eared potboiler, adopting a hand-held camera style which simply emphasizes the impoverished budget and hurried production schedule, and the decision to print key action scenes in the 'jerky-cam' style popularized by Wong Kar-wai in the likes of CHUNG KING EXPRESS (1994) is profoundly irritating. Manfred Wong's screenplay takes too long setting up the basic premise, and the film's opening half is almost derailed by needless comic set-pieces involving Cheng's relationship with Gigi Lai (playing the tough cookie sister of another gangster) which threaten to sink the entire production until events take a turn into dark-hearted melodrama, culminating in a dramatic showdown between Good and Evil.

Actor/pop singer Cheng is a bland leading man (it's doubtful he'd amount to very much without the floppy fringe and Lau's complimentary lighting scheme), and he's upstaged throughout by Ng as the monstrous psychopath who ruins the hero's life whilst murdering everyone who opposes his methods, innocent and guilty alike. The movie's only real claim to fame, however, is that it kick-started the career of second-billed Jordan Chan (KITCHEN), an unlikely heartthrob whose natural acting ability atones for a lack of movie star good looks, and who has since emerged as one of HK cinema's shining lights; his performance in YOUNG AND DANGEROUS as Cheng's loyal, hare-brained best friend is charming and unaffected, and seemingly effortless. HK movie veteran Simon Yam (BULLET IN THE HEAD) makes a brief appearance as head of the Hung Hing group, and Spencer Lam plays a former triad-turned-priest whose Christian piety doesn't prevent him from landing a few well-aimed kicks on Ng during one of the film's more bizarre episodes! Director Lau went on to better things (including the recent "Infernal Affairs" series), though not before directing SIX sequels to YOUNG AND DANGEROUS, the first of which appeared in HK theaters mere months after its predecessor!

(Cantonese dialogue)

7 / 10

One of the last decent films of the Hong Kong film industry

When I first watched this movie...I thought it was a total piece of s**t. But my friends keep bugging me that it was a great film. So I watched it again and I got say I was impressed after the second time watching it. I won't really explain the plot too much but it's sort of like a Chinese version of "Menace to Society" with a touch of "Goodfellas". Strong performance by Jordan Chan and the plot is pretty good for a Hong Kong flick nowadays. There is some action with a "A Better Tomorrow" flower pot shootout spoof where Jordan Chan tries to be Chow Yun Fat. Well that's all i gotta say. Watch the film.......8/10