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Tactical Unit - Comrades In Arms (DVD) (US Version) DVD Region All

Simon Yam (Actor) | Maggie Shiu (Actor) | Lam Suet (Actor) | Johnnie To (Producer)
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Tactical Unit - Comrades In Arms (DVD) (US Version)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Johnnie To's Milkyway Image films scores again with Tactical Unit - Comrades in Arms. The fifth PTU spin-off film to be produced, Comrades in Arms reunites original stars Simon Yam, Maggie Siu and Lam Suet. Director Law Wing Cheong (Hooked on You) highlights the flaws of his PTU protagonists, while also paying tribute to their teamwork and camaraderie under pressure. Possessing of the sly irony and wit that Milkyway's popular crime films are known for, Comrades in Arms delivers smart thrills and a helping of iconic action, with the film's climactic shootout taking place at a remote church on the Hong Kong border. Tactical Unit - Comrades in Arms opened on Hong Kong screens in early 2009 to solid critical acclaim.

The PTU squad is disbanding, but the circumstances could be more ideal. Leaders Sam (Simon Yam) and May (Maggie Siu) are at odds, with the team evenly split between them. A routine collar goes bad when the team bickers over who will be credited for the arrest, and the tension spills over to their celebration party, with insults hurled and punches thrown. Meanwhile, demoted CID Fat Lo (Lam Suet) is on thin ice with superior officer Ho (Ben Wong). As if things couldn't get worse, the team is sent on a final mission: a group of vicious thieves have escaped to the bordering hills, and every available PTU member is called in to sweep the area. The area's twisting tunnels, confusing landscape and murky fog present even more obstacles, making their assignment unpredictable and dangerous. With even the forces of nature against them, can the PTU squad pull it together for this one final mission?

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Technical Information

Product Title: Tactical Unit - Comrades In Arms (DVD) (US Version) 機動部隊 -- 同袍 (DVD) (美國版) 机动部队 -- 同袍 (DVD) (美国版) Tactical Unit - Comrades In Arms (DVD) (US Version) Tactical Unit - Comrades In Arms (DVD) (US Version)
Artist Name(s): Simon Yam (Actor) | Maggie Shiu (Actor) | Lam Suet (Actor) | Ben Wong | Samuel Pang | Tommy Yuen | Lam King Kong 任達華 (Actor) | 邵美琪 (Actor) | 林雪 (Actor) | 黃智賢 | 彭敬慈 | 阮民安 | 林敬剛 任达华 (Actor) | 邵美琪 (Actor) | 林雪 (Actor) | 黄智贤 | 彭敬慈 | 阮民安 | 林敬刚 任達華 (サイモン・ヤム) (Actor) | 邵美琪 (マギー・シウ) (Actor) | 林雪 (ラム・シュー) (Actor) | 黄智賢(ウォン・チーイン) | 彭敬慈 (サミュエル・パン) | Tommy Yuen | Lam King Kong Simon Yam (Actor) | Maggie Shiu (Actor) | Lam Suet (Actor) | Ben Wong | Samuel Pang | Tommy Yuen | Lam King Kong
Director: Law Wing Cheong 羅永昌 罗永昌 羅永昌(ロー・ウィンチョン) Law Wing Cheong
Producer: Johnnie To 杜琪峰 杜琪峰 杜琪峰 (ジョニー・トー)  Johnnie To
Writer: Yau Nai Hoi | Au Kin Yee 游乃海 | 歐健兒 游乃海 | 欧健儿 游乃海(ヤウ・ナイホイ) | Au Kin Yee Yau Nai Hoi | Au Kin Yee
Release Date: 2009-04-17
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Country of Origin: Hong Kong
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen
Closed Captioning: Yes
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS Digital Surround
Disc Format(s): DVD-9, DVD
Region Code: All Region What is it?
Rating: IIB
Duration: 91 (mins)
Publisher: Tai Seng Video (US)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1014454809

Product Information

Director : Law Wing Cheong

As a front-line police offer, you never leave a brother behind... Tactical Unit Column Sergeants Wah (Simon Yam) and Maggie (Maggie Siu) have been working together for some time but have never got along well. Maggie is promoted recently as she always wins praises from her supervisor, whereas Wah is shut out from any chance of promotion. As a result their column's morale drops to all-time low. A daring bank heist takes the tactical unit to Hong Kong's remote mountains searching for armed bandits. As Wah and Simon lead their team to conduct sweeps amidst treacherous terrain and deadly ambushes, they understand the only way to survive the mission is if they stick together as one.
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Tactical Unit - Comrades In Arms (DVD) (US Version)"

March 28, 2009

Johnnie To's PTU characters are back, and they're the same flawed but respectable law enforcers that you remember. Tactical Unit - Comrades In Arms is the second of Milkyway Image's PTU spinoffs to see release (though other installments were shot previously), and features the return of director Law Wing-Cheong, who also directed Tactical Unit - The Code. The major cast members reprise their roles, though Fat Lo (Lam Suet) has since been demoted from CID to PTU driver, and Sam (Simon Yam) and May (Maggie Siu) now appear to be at odds, if not engaged in some unacknowledged sexual tension. Maybe one of those yet-to-be-released Tactical Unit films offers an explanation for these changes.

Things are also different behind the camera. The Code was shot on HD-video and only found play at film fests (it has yet to be released to the general public), while Comrades was shot on film and is receiving an actual theatrical release. Also, PTU composer Chung Chi-Wing is back on board (Tommy Wai handled the score for The Code), and the script by Au Kin-Yee and Yau Nai-Hoi better echoes the Milkway house style with its irony and oblique character development. The result: an entertaining and more cinematic spinoff to PTU that's somewhat minor, but still very effectively told. Comrades in Arms isn't a true return to PTU, but its familiar themes and solid craft should please both Johnnie To and Milkyway Image fans.

Sam and May lead separate four-man PTU squads, but there's a heated rivalry between their two teams that borders on hostile. The squad is due for regular turnover anyway, with some of their number graduating onto other duties, but things turn punchy at the farewell party, with squad members trading insults and blows. Also, some of Sam's men utter distasteful comments about May buttering up commanding officer Ho (Ben Wong), with the insinuation that she may be using her gender to curry favor. Ho is also at odds with the demoted Fat Lo, whose disdain towards his superior officer begins to cross the line into insubordination. Ultimately, all the tension spills over into the squad's final assignment together. A trio of armed Mainland thieves has retreated to the hills, and the PTU is assigned to search the area. Will their lack of teamwork doom them, or will they finally discover that elusive cop camaraderie?

Comrades in Arms possesses some of the same edgy irony and cinematic storytelling that made PTU so enthralling, but its spirit is closer to Johnnie To's reverent Lifeline than his award-winning deconstructionist crime thrillers. Comrades is the age-old story of a dysfunctional group who, when the chips are down, learn to put aside their differences and act as a team. That theme lends itself to corny sentiments, and some dialogue certainly comes off that way. Many characters are just types, and the ultimate pro-police feelings may turn off viewers who have a thing against the Man. Also, the setting is unusual; Comrades takes place almost entirely in the day in a remote mountainous area - a far cry from the stark urban noir atmosphere of PTU. The narrative features fewer distinct set pieces, with much of the action feeling familiar if not repetitive. Reportedly, the filmmakers were limited to a low budget, and sometimes it clearly shows.

At the same time, it's impressive that the filmmakers could get so much with so little. For a low-budget Hong Kong film, Comrades in Arms is exemplary. This is less a cat-and-mouse crime film than a wandering-about-in-the-dark one; the cops and criminals ultimately criss-cross all over the mountain, splitting up and running into friend and foe alike as they stumble deeper into the mountains and closer to their individual lessons or realizations. What they learn is rather rote - the themes encompass teamwork, camaraderie, bravery and even religion - but the discoveries are made through wordless action rather than rah-rah speeches. The film chooses not to tell us the obvious and finds growth and emotions within the characters and their situations.

The final shootout is less spectacular than Milkway aficionados are likely used to, but it possesses realistic staging and a positive spirit that is ultimately easy to appreciate. Law Wing-Cheong balances his elements confidently, mixing in ironic humor, smart character details, and recognizable human emotions into his cop-and-criminal saga. This is a lesser Milkyway crime film, but a more-than-adequate successor to the award-winning original that seems right at home among the company's other genre efforts. To many, Milkyway Image is known for more than just genre; their brand means quality too, and Comrades in Arms earns its inclusion in the Milkyway filmography.

by Kozo - LoveHKFilm.com

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

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