Drug War 2012 Review: It was a combination of a good and non-linear storyline

A drug cartel boss who is arrested in a raid is coerced into betraying his former accomplices as part of an undercover operation.

After losing control of his car and crashing into a local restaurant, a man loses consciousness on the street. Later, while working on a case, the police’s anti-drug division captain, Zhang Lei (Honglei Sun or Ton Hong Loi), realizes that the man in the crash is drug lord Tian Ming (Louis Koo). In order to avoid the death penalty. Tian Ming helps the police put a stop to the entire drug trafficking circuit. But just as soon as the police are ready to make a large bust. Tian Ming makes a decision that shocks everyone involved.

Normally I am not overly keen on movies that was based upon a story about drugs. As they usually tend to be stereotypical and be similar to one another. Yet, I was given the chance now in 2020 to sit down and watch the 2012 movie “Drug War” (aka “Du zhan”) from Hong Kong heavyweight director Johnnie To. And of course I sat down to watch it, given my love and admiration of the Asian cinema.

Drug War was definitely entertaining. And it was a combination of a good and non-linear storyline. Along with a good amount of action and a great cast ensemble that made the movie work out well.

It was nice to see the likes of Louis Koo (Co Thien Lac) in such a role that deviated so much from what he usually does, and he made it work well. It was also a blast to have Suet Lam and Hoi-Pang Lo on the cast list. Now, I am not very familiar with the work of Honglei Sun. But he definitely managed to carry the lead role quite well.

What I really enjoyed about the movie was how unpredictable it was. And how the movie took a massive turn of events towards the end on the scene in the middle of the road. That scene must be seen, because it can’t be given the justice it deserves with written words. Nor would I want to ruin that for you.

I was genuinely entertained by the story, and the movie also had a good character gallery – which were portrayed by a great cast ensemble. And the movie had a good mixture of action and drama as well.

My rating of Drug War (Tran Chien A Phien) is a seven out of ten stars. This is definitely well worth the time, money and effort.

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