Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Local Scene Join Our Mailing List Articles About Us Contest Soundtrack Books eStore


Genre: Drama
Starring: Daniel Wu, Shu Qi, Liu Ye, Tony Yang, Zhang Zhen, Sun Honglei, Lulu Li
Director: Alexi Tan
Rating: NC-16
(Some Violence)
Year Made: 2007




- Trailer
- TV Special
- Interviews
- Featurettes
- Behind-the-scenes
- Photo Gallery




Languages: Mandarin
Subtitles: English & Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Letterbox
Sound: -
Running Time: 1 hr 35 mins
Region Code: PAL 3
Distributor: Innoform Media




Three innocent young men, KANG (Liu Ye ), FUNG (Daniel Wu) and XIAO HU (Tony Yang) who arrived in Shanghai in search of better life. Instead, each is forced into a life of crime and ends up taking a different path in life. Meanwhile, a forbidden love between LULU (Shu Qi) and MARK is born.
Life takes a difficult turn when this forbidden love affair is exposed. Friends turn against friends and brother against brother. Is blood really thicker than water?


On paper, nothing seems to be wrong for this movie. The cast list is exciting: heartthrob Daniel Wu (The Banquet), luscious Shu Qi (Confession of Pain), brooding Liu Ye (Curse of the Golden Flower), newcomer Tony Yang (Ming Ming), critically-acclaimed Sun Honglei (Triangle) and cool Chang Chen (Three Times). When was the last time audiences saw a group of actors like this come together in one picture? The cinematography and costume design are excitingly gorgeous, thanks to Michel Taburiaux and Tim Yip (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). The concept is the most exciting, a film set in 1930s Shanghai in the reins of John Woo’s iconic Bullet in the Head (1990) – this must be a Hong Kong cinema fan’s wet dream come true.

But alas, the 95-minute action drama failed top impress, or even to excite.

Three buddies (Liu, Yang and Wu) come to Shanghai to realize their dreams of becoming powerful, only to find themselves entangled in the broils of the dark and sinister undercover, in the midst of a triad leader (Sun), his lover (Shu) and his trusted aide (Chang).

The male characters go about trying their best to look unruffled in their prim and proper coats, while the female characters go about trying their best to look pretty in the glittery costumes. But the movie does not manage to thrill viewers, because the pacing seems dreary and monotonous – even the violence which earned it a NC16 rating does not make the senses ecstatic.

However, credit still goes to the actors for putting in the obvious effort to make this flick work. Wu’s intense expressions work for his emotional role, Liu’s showiness works for his ambitious character, Yang’s goofiness makes him affectionate, Sun’s reliable dynamism is spot-on, Chang does his signature cool gestures, and Shu is, well, sultry as usual.

Director Alexis Tan’s debut feature may be an ambitious project, getting Woo to come on board to play the producer role, but the music video director’s efforts result in a pretty-looking but soulless movie that may come across as trying too hard to impress.


This Code 3 DVD contains a 22-minute TV Special, where you see the cast and crew talk about the film and the roles they play. Producer Woo comments that the while the movie reminds him of the Godfather series and Shanghai Triad films of the past, it is romantically unique in its own way. Some of these interviews are repeated in a 19-minute Interviews segment. Here, amongst other praises for each other, Sun talks about how director Tan’s passion for filmmaking has inspired him greatly. The Featurettes section is where you can see a selection of six different scenes from the movie. The 12-minute Behind-the-scenes segment isn’t anything exciting, you just see the cast rehearsing for their scenes, and how makeup artistes doll up Shu into a pretty cabaret singer. There are also seven Trailers for the movie, in different durations – so you can relive the pretty images seven times. There are no subtitles for the bonus features on this disc.


While the disc’s visual transfer seems somewhat grainy, it works well for the era the film is set in. The audio soundtrack is presented in its original Mandarin language.



Review by John Li



Alternative Opinion:

The movie review by our columnist

Other titles from Innoform Media:

. Poltergay

. Invisible Target

. Nightmare Detective

. Secret

. Dynamite Warrior

. 13: Game of Death

. Surgeon Bong Dal-Hee

. Men In White

. Wing Chun

. Prince Hours

. Freeze

. Stranger Than Paradise

. Dancing Lion

. Yam Yosothon

. Noo-Hin The Movie

. Curiosity Kills The Cat

. 200 Pounds Beauty

. 1942

. Just Follow Law

. Nada Sou Sou

. A Mob Story

. The Third Eye

. Undercover

. Perfect Match

. The Unseeable

. Mercury Man

. Colour Of Hope

. Confession Of Pain

. Loveaholic

. Colic

. Silk

. Ghost Variety

. The Knot

. Boa

. The Host

. Forbidden Siren

. The Banquet

. Hell

. Eating Air

. Ghost Valentine

. 4:30

. My Name Is Fame

. Letter

. Born to Fight

. Lizard Woman

. Chai-Lai Angels

. Helen the Baby Fox

. Love Asia

. The Commitment

. The Story of X-Circle

. Beautiful, Wonderful, Perfect

. Hit Man


This review is made possible with the kind support from InnoForm Media


DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004- , movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.