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Film Review: Young and Dangerous 3 (1996) by Andrew Lau
Film Review: Young and Dangerous 3 (1996) by Andrew Lau

Film Review: Young and Dangerous 3 (1996) by Andrew Lau

Today marks the conclusion of you and Hung Hing’s journey.

Following the confrontation with the Sun Luen triads from Taiwan located in Macau during the second installment, the Hung Hing society has resumed its operations. Chan Ho Nam has been chosen as the new leader of their Causeway Bay branch after being elected by Chairman Chiang. Chicken Chiu, who previously sided with the Taiwanese Sun Luen, has returned to his former gang but must work his way up from the bottom. In the meantime, Smartie, Chan’s girlfriend who previously suffered from a stutter and was in a coma after a car accident, has regained consciousness but has no recollection of Chan.

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Currently, the biggest danger they are facing is the resurgence of their rival group, Tung Sing society, led by Camel Lok, who happens to be a close friend of Chairman Chiang. However, his two partners, Crow and Smiling Face Tiger, have ulterior motives and are determined to destroy Hung Hing once and for all. One day, during a business trip to Amsterdam, an opportunity presents itself when Crow arranges for Chiang to be assassinated. Although Chan manages to escape, Chiang’s mistress, Fong Ting, provides false information and frames Chan for the murder. Chan flees to Hong Kong and begins plotting his revenge.

In Hong Kong, Tung Sing’s boss, Camel, is furious about Crow’s deceitful actions, ultimately resulting in Crow’s own demise. To eliminate Chan and eradicate the Hung Hing triad, Crow kidnaps Chan’s girlfriend, Smartie. The triad arranges a meeting between the two bosses to resolve the conflict, but Chan arrives alone with the intention of saving Smartie and proving his innocence, despite walking into a trap.

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The third installment in the series, directed by Lau, takes a new approach by introducing Crow, the twisted leader of the Tung Sing society. In addition, the movie integrates images from the original comic book to seamlessly transition between scenes. While the use of a hand-held camera is not as prevalent, it is still used effectively to heighten the sense of unease. Lau’s visual style remains lively and inventive, with strong framing choices.

The scenic shots of Amsterdam not only create a travelogue feel, but also give the film a more modern appearance. As in the previous films, Lau delves into the theme of brotherhood and loyalty within the triad. However, there is a suggestion that traditional ideals are weakening, as the brave young gangsters now exude confidence and arrogance. In terms of action, there is a slight emphasis on gun fights this time, while the rest involves the typical hacking and slicing with cleavers as the primary weapons.

Regrettably, the plot still lacks anything novel, as the repetition of deception, competition, conflicts between various triad groups, and the fight for dominance are all too recognizable. Without the familiar main characters returning, the great side characters, and the introduction of new villains, the movie would be uneventful. Ekin Cheng appears at ease as the newly appointed triad leader, but seems to be merely going along with minimal drive. Despite his impressive performance in the previous film, Jordan Chan’s Chicken Chiu now takes a supporting role, but remains as charming as ever.

The remaining members of the main cast make a comeback, however they are not given much to do. It is a pleasure to have Anthony Wong back in any role, and his return as Tai Fei, the triad leader who picks his nose, is a welcome sight. Additionally, Gigi Lai reprises her role as Smartie and has an expanded role with more screen time. Hong Kong superstar Karen Mok also appears as Shuk Fan, Priest Lam’s cheeky daughter, and she shines with great chemistry alongside Jordan Chan. She also looks amazing as she brandishes a pair of cleavers.

The standout addition to the series is Roy Cheung’s portrayal of the merciless Crow, the ambitious and cruel leader of the Tung Sing society. He shows disdain towards the Hung Hing members, and is a sadistic murderer who doesn’t hesitate to betray his own boss or harm women. Cheung’s performance steals the spotlight every time he appears on screen, and he appears to relish every moment. Ng Chi Hung also impresses as the equally ruthless frontman Smiling Tiger, a righteous triad leader who took in the main character Chan Ho Nam in the first film. Veteran actor Chan Wai Min plays the head of Tung Sing society, but Cheung’s presence consistently outshines him in their scenes together.

While the storyline of “Young and Dangerous 3” may fall short and lack innovation, the resulting film is still a grand and impressive production, particularly the intense final scene. The addition of intriguing new characters like Mok and Cheung elevates the film to a higher level. Overall, it remains a highly enjoyable movie with impressive production and thrilling action to satisfy fans.