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Year of release: 2006

Genre: drama

Director: Soi Cheang

Producers: Shin Yoneyama, Sam Leong

Writers: Matt Chow, Szeto Kam Yuen, Melvin Li

Cinematography: Fung Yuen Man

Music: Ben Cheung

Editor: Angie Lam

Stars: Edison Chen, Sam Lee, Cheung Siu Fai, Lai Yiu Cheung, Lam Suet, Pei Pei, Lam Ka Wah

Rated III for language and violence

DVD Information

Company: Joy Sales

Format: widescreen

Languages: Cantonese, Mandarin

Subtitles: Chinese, English

Extras: none

Notes: Nice transfer, but if you want any extras, you'll have to spring for the 2-disc set.

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Dog Bite Dog

Dog Bite Dog

One of the more hotly anticipated titles to come out of Hong Kong this year, Dog Bite Dog doesn't disappoint. It doesn't quite live up to the hype, but it is one of the more satisfying experiences this reviewer has had with a movie this year, both foreign and domestic. While it's not an all-time classic, Dog Bite Dog is a refreshing change from the derivative romantic comedies and computer-fu "epics" Hong Kong seems determined to crank out nowadays.

The basic plot is pretty simple. Edison Chen plays an un-named hitman from Cambodia whose upbringing in the world of underground pit-fighting makes him a ferocious killer. After a particularly bloody job by Edison, a cop named Wai (Sam Lee) whose life is already on the edge of burnout becomes obsessed about catching him. As the chase continues, the lines between cop and killer become increasingly blurred, which leads to a climatic confrontation that will change them both forever.

Dog Bite Dog

This sort of plot has been done many times before, especially after the success of The Killer, but Dog Bite Dog adds enough into the mix to stand out on its' own. For starters, the movie looks great. Director Soi Cheang got his start with horror movies, and he uses many of the same filming and editing techniques here to great effect. It provides enough of a visual punch to make things interesting without going overboard. Speaking of punches, Dog Bite Dog is definitely one of the most violent works Hong Kong has produced in quite some time. While there have been some that say that the violence felt gratutious, the bloodshed is necessary to the story. It shows how far the characters have fallen and how far they are willing to go.

Finally, some note must be made of the acting. Sam Lee has always been a fairly strong actor, so his output here is not surprising (though it is much more serious than his usual role). What is, though, is Edison Chen. The man who once made audiences cringe with his "gangsta" attitude delivers an actual performance here that might actually transform him into a "real" actor, and not just a pretty singer who also happens to act in movies.

Dog Bite Dog