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Review Exiled a.k.a. Fong juk (2006): Very slick high tense action drama!

genre: action, crime, drama

With this title Johnny To has succeeded in having an original perspective on the action / crime genre. He seems to be playing around with his gangsters in his movies. Have them act slightly different from what you expect. Perhaps making a little fun of them with their code and ethics. Or he genuinely thinks the world of them.   

Anyway the gangsters in this movie are on a mission to kill an ex member who was exiled. After a intense shootout they clean up the place, cook and eat dinner. As they were all friends once they offer "Wo" the exiled one a favour. He wants do a last job in order to provide enough income for his wife and baby. The way things play out is a bit abstract and not much is said. Through the dynamics of the main characters it is obvious though that they share a bond. And that is all you need to know. Of course matters don't go like they planned which makes events rather compelling. All of the main characters are marvelous but in particular Anthony Wong. (Come to think of it, I don't think I ever seen him do poorly.) They show emotion without having much of a expression. As always Simon Yam is wonderful as the bad guy. Something about his look and charm that makes his characters even more evil than they already are. It is like second nature to him. Let's face it if it weren't for these actors this movie wouldn't work. It would have been average, dull even. The pace of the movie on the whole is moderate but when the action begins the pace is real fast. The action scenes are beautiful as they are stylish and intense. The finale is short but a real treat. Heroic bloodshed with a lot of blood.(Only this blood isn't fluid but some sort of red powder. Very nice effect nonetheless.  Clearly CGI, but not bothersome.) 

Overall Exiled is an excellent crime drama with high tense action that I can truly recommend.

Edit 21-06-2019:
After having rewatched it today I must admit that a second time watching is pretty disappointing. When you watch this one for the first time a lot of the tension is based on not knowing what happens next. With this surprise element gone the focus lies on the style and action. And while this is oozing with style and has plenty of action it's not always that great. But you will overlook this because of the cast. They are awesome and the ones who make it worth your while. 

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