Director: Teddy Chan
Stars: Daniel Wu, Emil Chow, Josie Ho, Kam Kwok-Leung, Joan Chen
A Khmer Rouge terrorist known as Soong (Kam) is planning to unleash a "purple storm" in the form of a deadly chemical that he hopes will wipe out the world. While bringing the chemicals into Hong Kong, Soong's son Todd (Wu) is knocked unconscious and loses his memory. After Todd is captured by the cops (led by Emil Chow), a psychologist (Chen) suggests that they implant fake memories into Todd to change him from a terrorist to an undercover cop. Chow reluctantly agrees, and the experiment seems to work until some of Todd's memories come back and he must decide which life he wants to lead.
Purple Storm is one of the more successful recent big-budget Hollywood-style HK action movies, mostly because it has a solid script. No one's going to mistake this film for something like A Better Tomorrow, but it's far above empty films like A Man Called Hero. The plot is at least somewhat original and allows for some nice character development over the course of the movie.
Performance-wise, the actors do well in the movie. Veterans such as Joan Chen and Emil Chow provide a nice base for some of the younger actors, such as Josie Ho, who lights up the screen as Todd's wife and Soong's number one assassin. However, the actor who stands out the most is Daniel Wu. After a lukewarm performance in Gen-X Cops (where it seems he was selected for his English-language skills rather than acting ability), he delivers a very solid performance that impressed me. Wu shows the germinations of a good acting career ahead, if he can use some discretion in picking out scripts.
Featuring a good cast, well-written script and some tight action sequences, Purple Storm has all the makings of a good night's (or at least a hour and a half's) entertainment.
A review of the VCD for this movie can be found here
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