FILM DIARY: No Compromise (Billy Chan, 1988)

This is a typical vehicle for Danny ‘The Man Who Play Cops’ Lee, who in this picture is a detective (natch) hunting a Bonnie and Clyde-style pair of criminals from mainland China. Only the female suspect (Wong Siu-Fong) is pregnant, and her husband (Lam Wai) bears a grudge because Lee shot her in the arm – causing a gangrenous(?) infection. The police pursuit is played against the deterioration of workaholic Lee’s marriage, his wife criticising the hours he spends away from the family, and Lee attempting to rebuild his relationship with his young son, Kee.

These two narrative strands come together in the film’s climax, in which Kee is taken captive by the male suspect.

This is a good ‘un with some brutal violence, most of it gun-based. There are also one or two extraordinary stunts, including near the beginning of the picture a stuntman leaping approximately 20 feet from a tall building into a tree, allowing only this to break his fall to the ground.

It’s a moody film – more film noir than action-er. The film’s last half hour, set largely in a hospital at night, is lit in a very low-key way, and on the DVD copy I watched (the Legendary Collection disc) these sequences were very hard to make out.