In the pursuit of criminal Cheung Yat-Tung, Tong Fei (Nicholas Tse) was involved in a gunfight and car accident. In the process, Cheung was seriously injured, an officer, Master Sun, (Liu Kai-Chi) was crippled and the daughter of public prosecuter, Ann Ko (Zhang Jingchu), was killed. Three months later, when Cheung awakens from his coma, Ann insists that he stand trial immediately. When her other daughter, Ling, is kidnapped by Hung King (Nick Cheung) to force her to drop charges, Tong Fei swears to rescue her to redeem himself. It is a race against time to save Ling from her sister's fate...
For most part of this Hong Kong cop and robber flick, Beast Stalker had the good momentum going with the three various protagonist’s plots. They were intriguing and decently acted out that kept the viewer glued and wanting to find out how these three protagonists (Nicholas Tse, Nick Cheung and Zhang Jingchu) would intersect with each and how the interaction would play out in the end. However the film then tried to be a little too clever for it’s own good and presented a twisty finale that hard to swallow.
The first early impressive bit in Beast Stalker came from an unexpected traffic accident. Although the computer generated images special effects were apparent, it put the audience onto the seats of an impactful collusion. In a strange way, it even looked beautiful as the shattered windscreen bits flew all over the screen while the passengers were being flung helplessly to the cue of the impact.
Then the film went on to build the various protagonists’ characters and story arc. Nicholas Tse’s Tong Fei with his guilt ridden persona, Nick Cheng’s Hung King with his sob dilemma and Zhang Jingchu’s Ann Ko with her frantic mom woes.
The strongest story arc would be Hung King’s tale of the unwilling mercenary assassin. Beast Stalker would marks another serious role that Nick Cheng is undertaking and he is showing that he got the chops to endear himself to the audience with his conflicted anti hero role. In the screen time that he was given, he was able to convincingly portrayal compassion, dedication and unflinching brutality.
Ann Ko’s frantic mom arc didn’t felt as strong as Hung King’s arc, largely due to the fact that the script didn’t give much material for Zhang Jingchu to work on. This section of the movie relied largely on Zhang Jingchu’s performance to draw the audience into feeling for her character. The problem with materials for Ann Ko character would be the same as the twisty finale and I will go into details later.
The biggest surprise here is Nicholas Tse’s performance as Tong Fei. Surprisingly his performance is less cringe worthy as the ones he did in The Promise and A Chinese Tall Story. It’s quite tolerable as he avoid going too overly emotional in his performance and I suspect that both the script and direction from director helped him to channel just the right amount of anguish.
credible to tolerable performance and a spectacular car crash,
what went wrong with Beast Stalker?
be spoilish from this portion onwards so scroll over if you
do not fear the spoilers stuff.
Stalker is a movie that I would label as “Mother of
all Coincident”. The various plots are strong enough
on their own and would actually make a very decent action
thriller movie. But what this movie tried to do at the end
was to link how this various three characters are linked in
that spectacular car crash. It made one wonder how did it
get so coincidental that a prosecutor’s car would happen
to be stop near a criminal that she is prosecuting. It was
so coincidental that the kidnapper who was also involved in
the same accident would become the same kidnapper who kidnaps
that very same prosecutor’s daughter.
are just some exemplary moments that made Beast Stalker felt
unbelievable and marred the whole show. It felt too forced
and ineptly weaved together. It would have been a whole lot
better if it didn’t try so hard to make it a little
more “special” than the usual Cop and Robber story.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
Beast Stalker gave a good presentation of the action sequences, especially in the car crash scene. The audio was surprising well mixed for surround despite it’s a Dolby Digital 2.0.
by Richard Lim Jr