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Breaking News (Unrated)

Release Date: January 27th, 2006 (Cinema Village) by Palm Pictures.
The Cast: Kelly Chen, Nick Cheung, Richie Jen, , Cheung Siu Fai, Shiu Hung Hui, Lam Suet Directed by Johnnie To.
In Cantonese with subtitles.

BASIC PREMISE: To improve the reputation of their police department, Inspector Rebecca (Chen), along with Detective Cheung (Cheung), turns a stakeout of five bank robbers into a breaking news show.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Even though the location of the five robbers is no mystery from the first act, Breaking News still manages to be a taut ride filled with exciting cat-and-mouse action scenes. The first scene kicks off right into the action with the introduction of the bank robbers led by Yuen (Jen). Richie Jen, a famous heartthrob in Asia, plays the bad guy with perfection. The robbers embarrass the police by defeating them, therefore highlighting their weakness. Fortunately, the police department has a second chance to show their strength when Detective Cheung find the robbersí hideout in an apartment complex. The rest of the plot includes the police getting slightly closer to the robbers while using surveillance and sending officers to the apartment in order to pinpoint their exact hideout. Meanwhile, Inspector Rebecca uses the media to put on a show, making sure that the police department always appears to be winning the battle no matter what. She even decides to have a film director shoot some of the news footage. The slick cinematography, as well as the fast paced action scenes, makes for a wildly entertaining ride, although without any comedy. It would have been nice to see Jackie Chan to break all the seriousness, but this isnít meant to be a comedy in the first place. The third act does have a few surprises, but what really grabs your attention is the cat-and-mouse chase down long corridors with gun-fire coming from all directions. Breaking News never feels fresh or original, but it succeeds as a crime/action movie with impeccable directing by the talented Johnny To.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: The media can manipulate the news you watch by the way they show it or explain it. Itís all about presentation. However, this issue is not fully explored in Breaking News enough to be truly insightful. If you want to watch a movie that really goes deep into the mediaís manipulation of the public, rent Wag the Dog .

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Its message about the mediaís manipulation feels too slight and simplistic.


IN A NUTSHELL: A slick, high-octane crime thriller! Well-directed!

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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