Full Contact is an Hong Kong action film from 1992 directed by legendary action filmmaker Ringo Lam and starring assiduous Hong Kong actors such as Chow Yun-Fat, Simon Yam and Anthony Wong Chau-Sang. Co-starring alongside Ann Bridgewater and Bonnie Fu among others.
Ringo Lam already had an extensive career behind by the time this film was released back in 1992, with films like City on Fire or Prison on Fire, both films also starring Chow Yun-Fat. Full Contact has become over the years on a great cult action film from the 90’s. The action and the violence are extreme, offering high voltage explosive action sequences like never seen before in Lam movie.
The story takes place between Thailand and Hong Kong. Jeff (Chow Yun Fat), Chung and Sam (Anthony Wong) joins Judge’s (Simon Yam) gang in a weapons heist. After the attack, Judge and his band kill Chung, and then they force Sam to liquidate Jeff. Instead, Sam leaves him to his fate in the middle of a fire … but Jeff survives and looks for them one by one to get revenge.
A very simple plot typically represented in the action genre, but it’s not more important the “What” but the “How” that makes the film so special. The pacing is indeed non- stop throughout the film, making it in a thrilling ride experience: Starting with the bank robbery exhilarating action sequence from the beginning and the sexy Bridgewater’s dance scene; going by stylized and very well-choreographed action sequences and dramatic scenes; and ending in an awesome climax sequence reminding the audience why they love this kind of films.
Entertaining and violent, but also romantic in a way. As in John Woo’s films, there are other themes treated in the film apart from the action, such as love and friendship. But one thing is clear; the main theme of this movie is revenge. That is pretty highlighted. Directed with pure nerve and filled with an incredible visual look. In addition, Lam handles the camera in a very effective way.
Performances are really well done. The star of the show is Chow Yun-Fat, logically, but the supporting characters really steal the show sometimes, but that is something expected when you have actors such as Simon Yam and Anthony Wong Chau-Sang on those supporting roles.
Simon Yam is really charismatic and really fun to watch in the villain role, playing that eccentric and homosexual villain character. Besides, Anthony Wong plays a serious guy that starts being fearful but then he becomes a little fearsome in some way. Bonnie Fu also adds a touch of sensuality and madness playing one of Simon Yam’s sidekick.
However, it also contains some cons, such as some over the top performances which may irritate some; and also the script’s predictability. But to be honest, action film lovers watch action films for the action sequences and the thrilling experience, not for Mozart-like monologues and plot twists.
Definitely, highly recommended for all those Hong Kong action aficionados out there. Powerful and above all, frenetic and charismatic. Do not miss it.