Motorway (2012) a.k.a. Che Sau
The Fast, the Furious and the Motorway
You know the “first scene” formula: if it’s an action movie, make them jump out of their seats in the first scene; if it’s a comedy, make them laugh their asses off in the first scene; and if it’s a drama, then you have to stun them in the first scene. The problem is if your first scene is a lackluster one then you’ve just set the bar for your film pretty low. In “Motorway”, you will be treated to a car chase ( of sorts ) as the opening credits roll by. The cops are undercover, patrolling in a slick AUDI A4 2.5, and hot on the heels of our villain, Jiang ( Xiaodong Guo ), in his pimped out BMW Z4. Even though the cars look “real” ( as in going as fast as they are pretending to be ), you’ll get an immediate sense of how things are going to be throughout “Che Sau”. In one word: mild.
Once the pursuit is over, we get familiar with our story’s two main good guys: Officers Lo ( Anthony Wong Chau-Sang ) and Cheung ( Shawn Yue ). In this scene, Lo is reprimanding Cheung for being careless while on duty as the latter retrieves the video footage recorded by the police vehicle’s on board camera. The kicker ( and I’ll try to not make a big deal out of it ): it’s a VHS tape! ( or a HI8 tape, which is basically the same thing with a slightly better resolution ). You’re telling me that what they’re using as a recording device is a jumbo-sized VCR in the trunk… in 2012?? Really? Come on, what city has a high speed pursuit special unit on the move in a decked out, souped up AUDI and a VCR in the boot? While not uncommon, cruiser cams are usually used in regular cruiser cars. I just expected more from an elite division like the “Invisible Squad“.
Acting wise, “Motorway” is sub-standard but it manages to work well enough, in some spots anyways. Anthony Wong Chau-Sang is pretty bad in this one. He plays this dimwitted cop on the verge of retirement for the first half of the story and then, out of the blue, decides to become the hero. He adds nothing to this film. In fact, I wish his character had been played by someone else. Shawn Yue gets most of the lines and 3/4 of the action so why bother with an annoying side-kick? So what about Shawn? I’d say he delivers a lukewarm performance at best. He pulls off the “police by day, vigilante street racer by night” role easily enough but there are no flashes of brilliance to be seen here.
The film suffers, at times, from unbelievable stupidity. It made me cringe to see Officer Cheung re-examining his tapes to find a weakness in his opponent all the while “air-driving” like an idiot as if by some miracle waiving your hands in the air, growling out the shifting gears sitting in a chair in an office, will somehow make you a better driver. Then he leans back in his chair and let’s out a: “Hmmm…” as if everything suddenly became clearer and the answer neatly fell on his lap. These are minor details ( granted ) but they have a way of affecting the overall experience a ton.
> Take a look at what the real thing looks like ( 3: 16 ) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VAlhPKyv3k&feature=relmfu
What is ultimately driving Jiang is the opportunity to pay back one of his oldest friends by pulling off a rare jewel heist. But you won’t care about that. Nope, what you’re really waiting for as you’re watching “Che Sau” is the final showdown between the good cop and the bad criminal. What you’re hoping for is a bunch of awesome car chases and breakneck speed pursuits to get you there. Unfortunately, all you’ll get is some “filler” material about the characters’ pasts and whatnot. It all fells glossed over, really. And the final showdown is as disappointing as the rest of the flick. The only cool part comes in the form of a difficult curve to get through. So what’s the point? If it’s not really about the cars, and not really about the heist and not really about the showdown then what is this movie getting at? Final verdict: avoid, unless you are a die-hard fan of the genre.
TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZzMZpGpwQsMotorway (2012) a.k.a. Che Sau,