FURIE (aka HAI PHƯỢNG) (2019) review

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After roles unworthy of her talents in two major Hollywood blockbusters, David Ayer’s Bright and Rian Johnson The Last Jedi, Veronica Ngo is back to leading woman status in Le Van Kiet’s Furie. She plays Hai Phuong, a former gangster who left Saigon after she became a single mother, and now lives in the countryside where she works as a debt collector, an occupation that marginalises her within the community and makes her daughter Mai (Mai Cat Vi) the target of bullying. One day, Mai is kidnapped by members of a powerful, tentacular organ-trafficking organization. Desperate and unstoppable, Hai Phuong sets off on her trail, which leads her back to Saigon and brings back the ghosts of her former life as a gangster, with only a lone cop (Phan Thanh Nhiên) to help her.

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PEGASUS (2019) review

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Pegasus is the third directorial effort of Han Han, an artist with a great many strings to his bow: best-selling author, influential blogger, prize-winning rally racer, singer-songwriter and of course, hit-making film director. It follows Zhang Chi (Shen Teng), a former glory of the Chinese rally racing world who after taking part in a dangerous and illegal parking lot race against his then-nemesis (William Feng), was stripped of his driver’s license and racing rights. Now, after five years away from racing, spent as a street cook and taking care of his adoptive son Fei (Li Qingyu), Zhang is staging a comeback. But he’s got no driving license, no car, no money, no sponsor, and only the bumbling poet Yuqiang (Yin Zheng) as his teammate. All he’s got is a deep love of car racing, and will to show the newer generation of drivers, including wunderkind Lin Yidong (Johnny Huang Jingyu), that’s he’s still the best.

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THE GREAT DETECTIVE (2019) review

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Roy Chow’s long delayed (it was originally set for a Summer 2017 release) The Great Detective is based on the popular detective stories of Chen Xiaoqing, an author considered the “Conan Doyle of the East”. It follows Huo Sang (Han Geng), a brilliant private detective who, flanked by his trusty sidekick Bao Lang (Yin Zheng), accepts a fortune in gold from a powerful businesswoman (Carina Lau) to solve the murder of her  aide-de-camp. The apparent culprit is Jiang Nan Yan, a gentleman thief known as the “face-shifter”: an ability to change his face has made him impossible to identify, let alone catch. Eager to help Huo and Bao is Bai Mudan (Zhang Huiwen), a bank teller and wannabe sleuth who is a great admirer of the detective. But soon the trio of investigators find themselves stalked by a mysterious blonde woman, while new murders signed by Jiang Nan Yan make the news.

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