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Review China White (1989): Heroic Bloodshed in Amsterdam!



Saskia van Rijswijk


An older review I wrote in 2007:

After a long time I have finally been able to get a copy of this and watch it again. Now I do know that there are several versions out there so there is no sure way to tell if the version I saw now is the same as it was the first time I saw it. The action is still top notch. Only those sequences aren't as long as one would expect from a movie in the genre. I have seen a lot of so called heroic bloodshed titles that tried to copy the master John Woo and never came close to it. China White is much better than most but also fails to come close of what John Woo has defined. There is one very big plus and that is the setting. Which is China town in Amsterdam. You get the impression it is a large district. But having lived in Amsterdam myself I know it is only a small area part of the red light district which happens to have a lot of Chinese stores and restaurants. But because of the way they shot the movie it actually looks like a big and important territory where people know not to mess with the triads. Besides the action China White is a somewhat compelling gangster drama with some decent acting that could have used more intrigue if the focus was on the story. Russel Wong and Billy Drago do what they can with the material they are given. After careful consideration and comparing it to other titles in the genre this movie still is strong enough. Certainly worth watching. (That is if you are on the hunt for John Woo esque triad films).



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