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Yao Shou Du Shi

Yao Shou Du Shi (1992) Movie Poster
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Hong Kong / Japan  •    •  96m  •    •  Directed by: Tai Kit Mak.  •  Starring: Leon Lai, Michelle Reis, Jacky Cheung, Roy Cheung, Shu-Kei Chow, Carman Lee, Tatsuya Nakadai, Woo-Ping Yuen, Reiko Hayama.  •  Music by: Kiyoko Ogino, Richard Yuen.
       Taki is assigned to go after Daishu, a businessman who is suspected by the police to be selling the drug "happiness", a drug from the Rapter's world that causes people to "evaporate" if they stop taking it. Actually it is another group of Rapters that are selling the happiness. The second group attacks Daishu's group, and eventually Taki, Daishu, and Daishu's daughter join forces to fight the evil Rapters.

Review:

Image from: Yao Shou Du Shi (1992)
Image from: Yao Shou Du Shi (1992)
Image from: Yao Shou Du Shi (1992)
Image from: Yao Shou Du Shi (1992)
Image from: Yao Shou Du Shi (1992)
Image from: Yao Shou Du Shi (1992)
Image from: Yao Shou Du Shi (1992)
Image from: Yao Shou Du Shi (1992)
Image from: Yao Shou Du Shi (1992)
Image from: Yao Shou Du Shi (1992)
Image from: Yao Shou Du Shi (1992)
Image from: Yao Shou Du Shi (1992)
The Reptoids, an alien species from beyond rule the future. They live amongst the human populace. Intelligent, urbane, charming, aggressive...and malevolent by nature... They control most of the international economy, and unknowingly to the people, the Reptoids manipulate most of the human race...

Throughout the city streets in Tokyo and Hong Kong, a lethal new drug is being distributed under the incognito known as the "Happiness." This drug promises the ultimate pleasure, the ultimate high...but it will lead to the ultimate demise...

Detective Taki (Jacky Cheung) has his hands full dealing with a series of drug related deaths. The police department also happens to be breathing down his neck. Taki is assigned to keep a surveillance over a enigmatic entrepreneur (Tatsuya Nakadai) who may hold the key to unlocking this entire riddle. This opulent entrepreneur though may in fact, be one of the Reptoids...and the "Happiness" drug is the Reptoids' method of preempting the human race, bringing them down to their knees... Only Taki, and his new partner, Ken (Leon Lai) can thwart the Reptoids' sinister plans for world domination...

Double-crossing, deception, and malediction are the name of the game as the stakes are rising.. Taki may very well realize that his partner is not who he claims to be. As well, a gorgeous woman (Michelle Reis) whom Taki has encountered before enters his life one more time...but why now?

I am a huge fan of Hong Kong cinema, and this film is no exception. WICKED CITY (The Cantonese title is YAO SHOU DU SHI) is one of East Asia's proudest pieces of work. This movie has an amazing exhibition of imaginative and mind-blowing special effects ever witnessed, especially for a film that was not made in Hollywood. The film makers throw in everything for this movie from martial arts, car chases and flying acrobats to lasers, metamorphosing creatures, liquid fiends, reptilian demons, and a humanoid pinball machine! There is even an incredible climactic confrontation aboard a moving passenger jet. Also, the dazzling and sparkling Michelle Reis adds a provocative edge to this emotionally pervasive film. Her beauty and grace are powerful enough to hypnotize the entire audience, thereby stealing the show from the two leads. Strong special effects, fine set designs, and a sexy leading lady highlight this formidable sleeper hit.

WICKED CITY was created to capture the visceral nightmarish flair of a fast moving anime. The intensity and sheer momentum in this film packs a wallop! The action sequences moves at a razor sharp pace and the surrealism of this film is omnipotent. This movie features some of the most startling (and definitely grotesque) creatures as well. The array of bestial monsters will paint an indelible picture in your mind after finishing the movie.

A stylish, science-fiction future noir for the next millennium! WICKED CITY contains the components of a future noir including a hard edged detective full of asperity, a beautiful mystery woman with a past, a bleak atmosphere, deviant camera angles, and flashbacks. Excellent characterization, magnificent cinematography, and a surprisingly abundance of plot twists make WICKED CITY a worthwhile pearl to collect. The brilliant imagery and predatory mutants propel this film several notches above the typical Hong Kong action film.

As a future noir, WICKED CITY is a heart-stopping ride descending into a apocalyptic world where time has no meaning...and life may hold no value... Certainly a fiendish, brutal vision of a future where humankind is in crisis. Director Tai Kit Mak did a great job adapting the famous Japanese manga as a big screen show where the objectives of good and evil are not always clearly defined...

For a precaution, DO NOT even bother trying to decipher a plot. Just sit back and prepare to be blown away by the most dizzying collection of special effects ever seen! While this movie is energetic and lively...just do not bother to have credibility and logic as top priorities... WICKED CITY is thoroughly wicked indeed, deserving all types of encomium with a wildly original concept.


Review by David Choi from the Internet Movie Database.