Partners    (2002) 

                                  Universe Films Distribution Co., Ltd. |  Century Creator Co., Ltd. |  Sam Po Entertainment Production Co., Ltd. 


                                            Cast:  Simon Yam Tat-Wah, Eric Tsang, Michael Wong, Yip Wing Cho, Lihan Pang, 

                                                                           Mary Kwan, Chapman To Man Chat


                                      Writer:  Paul Chung     Music:  Alan Wong     Cinematographer:  Edmond Fung     Editor:  Poon Hung                                    Art Director:  Mable Kwan   Martial Arts Director:  Hon Chun   Line Producer:  Bill Wu, Prisana Trachai     

                                                            Producer:  Daneil Lam         Executive Producer:  Wynn Lau, Rainy Chan         

                                                                                            Director:  Bee Chan (Billy Chan Wu Ngai)

                                    Genre:  Action | Drama       Languages:  Cantonese, English, Thai        Rating:  IIB       Length:  80 minutes


                                                                                 "I like guns, you know that"


                                         Simon Yam as Kwan Yeung in PARTNERS       Michael Wong in PARTNERS

                          Funny how you can usually gauge the quality of a film by the way it was released. Filmed mostly

                                     in sunny Thailand, Partners was probably conceived for the direct to video market. Though

                         completed in 2001, it was held back from the public till mid-2002. With little going for it besides

                                      its three black clad stars, Partners can be safely skipped by all but the most die-hard fans.


                                      Simon Yam, as a trigger happy a**hole named Kwan Yeung, and Rick (Michael Wong), a 

                                           former cop, are a team of armed robbers who have been knocking over jewelry stores 

                                           left and right. After one failed operation, Kwan hands the leadership role to Chan Foon

                                  (Eric Tsang), an ex Thai gangster with connections all over Southeast Asia. The newly formed

                                   crime team heads to Thailand and robs a bank. Soon after the big score, Chan Foon gradually

                                       drags his unfinished affairs into their lives, causing a rift by using them to help settle a score 

                                  with the rival of he and his former boss- a Thai gangster played by veteran actor Yip Wing Cho.         


                             Partners comes off as an American production  trying to cop the style of Hong Kong action

                                     films. Slow motion is used gratuitously, trying to amp up scenes where there's nothing really

                                      going on. Production values are fairly good, but they're wasted on a toilet paper script and

                                          characters with virtually no humanity whatsoever. What is the audience expected to do-

                                                   cheer for the bank robbers as they blow away innocent security guards? 


                                 Chapman To, Wong, Tsang, & Yam  Eric Tsang  Lama meets Yam     

                                  Most of Michael Wong's lines are in English, so there's the absurdity of Wong speaking in one

                                  language while his colleagues answer him another,  like it's perfectly normal.Yam plays his most

                                    one-dimensional role of his career- he's the cruel silent type and has little to say- or do, except

                                                                              smoke, shoot and brood.

                                  Ironically, the best thing about Partners is the subtitles. Clear white lettering with black outlines, 

                                                        and few errors. This is how Hong Kong films should be presented. 

                                                 Now all that's left to do is to make a decent movie that's worth a damn. Boys..?





                                    Related viewing:  Hitman (1998)  Jet Li, Eric Tsang, Simon Yam

                                                                                                         Long Arm of the Law (1984)  Lam Wai, Shum Wai




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