BURSTING POINT (爆裂点) (2023)

Genre: Action/Thriller
Director: Dante Lam, Calvin Tong
Cast: Nick Cheung, William Chan, Isabella Leong, Philip Keung, Shaun Tam, Chrissie Chau, Tony Yang
Runtime: 2 hrs 18 mins
Rating: NC16 (Violence and Some Drug Use)
Released By: Golden Village Pictures
Official Website:

Opening Day: 14 December 2023

Synopsis: This is the story of a chief inspector in the anti-narcotics unit who holds true to his beliefs as a police officer. He puts everything on the line to crack down on drugs and bring drug traffickers to justice. How will our hero resolve this “bursting point” crisis?

Movie Review:

Hong Kong filmmaker Dante Lam has never been known to be a director who goes for subtlety in his works. Some of his best movies are blatant action flicks – fans of Hong Kong cinema would be familiar with titles like Beast Stalker (2008), The Stool Pigeon (2010) and The Viral Factor (2011). In these testosterone charged movies, male characters go all out to open fire and punch the guts out of each other. Then Lam helmed a handful of commercially successful Mainland Chinese titles which were dramatically patriotic. Operation Red Sea (2018), The Rescue (2010), The Battle at Lake Changjin (2021) and its 2022 sequel are just some of these profitable action flicks.

Lam is back in his home ground with his latest work, co directing it with newcomer Calvin Tong. The result is still a signature Dante Lam flick that doesn’t hold back on the action and violence. It is also notable that the ensemble cast of this movie are bona fide Hong Kong stars. Leading the pack is Nick Cheung, who went through an incredible body transformation for the director’s other well known hit Unbeatable (2013). The actor plays a veteran cop in the police force’s anti narcotics unit who plants a mole (William Chan, who looks like he worked out real hard for the role) in a drug trafficking gang. The villain is portrayed chillingly by Shaun Tam, and his girlfriend is played by Chrissie Chau. Elsewhere, Isabelle Leong takes on the role of a drugmaker, while the very hardworking Philip Keung shows up in yet another Hong Kong movie as a crook. If you’re familiar with Hong Kong showbiz, other supporting characters are played by Wong You Nam, Jonathan Cheung, Angus Yeung and Henick Chou.

As you’d expect from an action thriller of this genre, things go wrong along the way and casualties begin piling up. In fact, with a runtime of 138 minutes, you can expect things to go bloodily wrong, thanks to numerous side plots. There is a drugmaker from the Golden Triangle who is looking for an opportunity to run away from being controlled by a drug lord, her daughter who finds herself drugged and assaulted after a night of partying, and the police officer’s son who gets on the wrong side of the law. With these storylines, you begin wondering whether the focus is still on Chan’s undercover cop who is risking his life by getting too close to the enemies.

But because Lam and Tong has a firm grasp of the movie’s pacing, you are brought along for the fast and furious ride. There are numerous memorable action sequences which involve characters chasing each other against a backdrop of high rise buildings, deafening gunfights that aren’t too kind to your eardrums, as well as explosive scenes which keep you at the edge of your seats. The movie goes all out and characters (both good and bad guys) are not easily spared in the various ways of dying. One of them is horribly splashed with acid, and several others are burnt to death. In one brutal scene, a palm is chopped off. In another fight sequence, two characters battle it out in a muddy construction site. The violence is over the top and does not take a step back. If you are a fan of this genre, then you will enjoy every minute of this action movie. 

Movie Rating:

(If you're up for two hours of bloodily raw and unflinching violence, then you will enjoy this intense action flick co-directed by Hong Kong veteran Dante Lam and newcomer Calvin Tong)

Review by John Li 

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