Geek Rating 4 out of 5 Stars
The film tackles roughly 72 sleepless hours in the life of a drug enforcement unit led by Captain Zhang (Sun Honglei) as they try to take down one the biggest meth cartels in China. A lucky break comes in the form of Timmy Choi (Louis Koo) who is recovered after his meth lab explodes killing his wife and her two brothers.
The weird thing about manufacturing meth in China is making just fifty grams will earn you a death sentence. Trying to avoid this, Timmy agrees to help Captain Zhang take down the cartel, in the hopes of getting his life spared.
The problem is Timmy isn’t telling Zhang everything.
If you’re familiar with Johnnie To’s crime dramas you already know what to expect here, great acting and a methodically paced to perfection plot and story. For this film however the director tried to paint a more authentic picture with the script to get past the strict Chinese sensors with his grim and violent vision intact.
Drug War is the kind of film that leaves the viewer shell-shocked at the end, since reality is never pleasant. Johnnie To also makes a conscious effort to never paint the characters in black and white, which that coupled with its commitment to realty definitely gives the film a more than a few parallels to another meth opus Breaking Bad.
I thoroughly enjoyed Drug War, and I think its probably no coincidence its hitting theaters the same week as Breaking Bad returns to the airwaves. If you’re a fan of Hong Kong action films or Breaking Bad, I can’t suggest checking this out enough you won’t be disappointed.