Over the years, Hong Kong action filmmakers have mastered the art of complex storytelling by negotiating parallel strands and multiple characters with their respective motivations without losing sight of the larger dramatic purpose. Quite often, the motivations and reactions border on the melodramatic, but the high-octane action sequences undermine its sentimental layers – without sacrificing the emotional core. It’s an extremely fine balance to strike. So, we have a guilt-ridden police officer who accidentally kills a little girl during a shootout and is now bent on punishing the gangster responsible for the mess up; the girl’s mother who is a public prosecutor who wants to bring the main culprit to justice but is hampered in her duties when her other daughter is kidnapped to change her evidence; and the one-eyed professional kidnapper who has his own back-story. Director Dante Lam rustles up a sumptuous delicacy that makes for a pleasant weekend viewing.
THE BEAST STALKER (2008, Honk Kong) is streaming on Netflix.
Ranjan Das is a Mumbai based filmmaker & faculty.