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YesAsia Editorial Description
It has been two years since Lok (Simon Yam) quite literally beat Big D to head the Wo Sing triad, and now is the time for another round of elections. The two-year term cannot satisfy Lok's greed for power, and he attempts to violate the gang's rules and seek a second term. Nick Cheung and Gordon Lam return as the Wo Sing members who have also shown interest in the chairman's seat, while Lam Suet and Eddie Cheung are triads who seem content with what they have. Jimmy (Louis Koo), the up-and-coming triad entrepreneur is too involved in his pirate VCD business to run for office. But the influential Uncles, led by Deng (Wong Tin Lam), want to groom him, and Jimmy soon finds out that chairman status is essential for expanding his business on the Mainland.
In Election 2, Johnnie To has made his political references even more explicit than in the first film. Those who have stayed in touch with Hong Kong's political news will find much amusement in the film's denouement. But even those who have not will find much to delight them in To's sharp and witty observations on Hong Kong's election system.
|Product Title:||Election 2 (Hong Kong Version) 黑社會2 以和為貴 (香港版) 黑社会2 以和为贵 (香港版) 黒社會2 以和為貴 （香港版） Election 2 (Hong Kong Version)|
|Artist Name(s):||Simon Yam (Actor) | Louis Koo (Actor) | Yau Nai Hoi | Tony Yip | Nick Cheung (Actor) | Gordon Lam (Actor) | Wong Tin Lam (Actor) 任達華 (Actor) | 古天樂 (Actor) | 游乃海 | 葉天成 | 張 家輝 (Actor) | 林家棟 (Actor) | 王 天林 (Actor) 任达华 (Actor) | 古天乐 (Actor) | 游乃海 | 叶天成 | 张 家辉 (Actor) | 林家栋 (Actor) | 王 天林 (Actor) 任達華 （サイモン・ヤム） (Actor) | 古天樂 （ルイス・クー） (Actor) | 游乃海（ヤウ・ナイホイ） | 葉天成 | 張家輝 （ニック・チョン） (Actor) | 林家棟（ラム・カートン） (Actor) | 王天林（ウォン・ティンラム） (Actor) 임 달화 (Actor) | Louis Koo (Actor) | Yau Nai Hoi | Tony Yip | Nick Cheung (Actor) | Gordon Lam (Actor) | Wong Tin Lam (Actor)|
|Director:||Johnnie To 杜琪峰 杜琪峰 杜琪峰 （ジョニー・トー） Johnnie To|
|Subtitles:||English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese|
|Country of Origin:||Hong Kong|
|Picture Format:||NTSC What is it?|
|Aspect Ratio:||1.78 : 1|
|Sound Information:||Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS Extended Surround(TM) / DTS-ES(TM), Hi-Fi Stereo|
|Disc Format(s):||DVD, DVD-9|
|Region Code:||All Region What is it?|
|Package Weight:||150 (g)|
|Shipment Unit:||1 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1004280541|
* Sound Mix : DTS-ES, Dolby Digital 5.1
* DVD Type : DVD-9
Director: Johnnie To Kei Fung
自從樂少 (任達華飾) 當上和聯勝辦事人後，黑社會的世界總算有了一個過度性的安寧。然而，和聯勝兩年一度的辦事人選舉即將舉行；暴風雨前夕，總又讓人覺得不安……。
兩年行將過去，現任辦事人樂少留戀辦事人身份，希望說服一眾叔父和鄧伯 (王天林飾) 修例讓其連任。鄧伯告誡樂少，生意越做越大，人馬眾多的Jimmy仔 (古天樂飾) 為不二之選的新辦事人。
另一方面，樂少為了鏟除障礙，說服了東莞仔與其聯手，綁架Jimmy仔幕後老闆以迫令他放棄做新辦事人。樂少與 Jimmy仔正式展開決鬥，為一場腥風血雨的江湖衝突拉開戰幕…。最後二人什樣解決他們的恩怨 ? 又是否能安守幫會幾百年下來的宗旨 ---- 以和為貴 ?
...the post-1998 world of Chinese rule means that even the long-established Wo Shing Triad Society must change its ways and think north. But after the brotherhood was fractured by the ruthless grip of Chairman Lok, it was up to the younger generation to lead the way. Jimmy is the perfect candidate: smart and entrepreneurial. Even the Chinese authorities and interested in what Jimmy has to offer. Only problem is, Chairman Lok isn't one who gives up power easily...
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features
Professional Review of "Election 2 (Hong Kong Version)"
This professional review refers to Election 2 (Special Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
If Johnnie To's Election left any room to doubt that the acclaimed director disapproved of Hong Kong's triad culture, the sequel is now here to sweep those doubts aside. Where the original left no doubt that To considered the gangs completely dishonorable and motivated by nothing more than greed and lust for power, this continuation of the story takes it much farther, emasculating the characters in every way that matters and casting them as nothing more than pathetic puppets dancing on the strings of their own fears at the whims of even larger powers. As to the nature of those larger powers, let it be said that To's social criticism cuts deep and true enough that the mainland Chinese government forced major cuts to the beginning and end of the film - cuts that have nothing whatsoever to do with violence or graphic content and everything to do with direct mainland government involvement with and manipulation of the Hong Kong underworld.
Election 2 picks up two years after the original. Lok's term as the chairman of the Wo Shing Society is coming to an end and key figures in the Society are now jockeying for position as the next head. Jimmy, a relatively minor character in the original, has prospered in the years following Lok's rise to power and is the preferred choice of most of the Society, but he wants none of it, preferring to steer a course towards legitimate business. The hot tempered Kun has made no secrets of his ambitions while Lok's prime hitman Jet has been kept pacified through long years in hiding with promises of the Chairman's position. Most troubling is that Lok himself is making it clear that he intends to defy Society tradition and retain the Chairmanship himself, a stance that will inevitably lead to conflict. What seems to be shaping into a direct confrontation between Lok and Kun - one that would surely mirror the Lok/Big D conflict of the first film - changes when a careless mistake by Jimmy forces him to enter the fray with full force.
While this is certainly a sequel in every sense, To is clearly not interested in repeating the points driven home so forcefully in the first film. Instead, he sets out to shred whatever scraps of dignity his first effort may have left triad culture. While the first film cast the triad bosses as ruthlessly amoral and completely without honor, it at least granted that they were proactive, powerful men - concessions that To mercilessly strips away here. Where Lok succeeded by force of will and guile in the first, he is here a desperate man clinging to the remaining shreds of his power while, thanks to the closing events of the first film, his own son is justifiably terrified and repulsed by him. Jet - arguably the one character in the original who embodied the loyalty and noble fighting spirit triad culture is lauded for - has been reduced to little more than a caged dog, living in a barren apartment, his desperation for approval blinding him to the obvious truth that he is being lied to and manipulated. Jimmy, Lok's chief rival, is effortlessly snared by mainland officials who correctly identify his desire for legitimacy as the weakness that will set him dancing to their tune. While the first Election was a clash of titans, two powerful and charismatic men locked in a last man standing brawl, Election 2 captures a reluctant conflict driven by fear of loss and the desperation to maintain control. Where Election makes its characters aggressive and proactive, the sequel sees them as entirely reactive, drowning men grasping at straws.
As was the case with the first film, To reflects the nature of the society he is filming in the nature of his cinematography. The triads are a shadowy, half-lit world that is reflected in the deeply shadowed interiors and the dingy grey clouded exteriors on those rare occasions when the exterior action occurs in the daylight. Like the first film, Election 2 is more concerned with the internal politics of the gang - the shifting allegiances and jockeying for position - than it is with the activities of the gang, which translates to more discussion than action. When the action comes though, it is graphic and brutal. The sprawling cast is, once again, universally strong, with the bland passivity some have complained about in Louis Koo's performance as Jimmy being entirely the point of the character. To's desire to show just how ultimately weak these men are may make Election 2 a less immediately engaging film than the preceding entry, but it is no less carefully crafted and no less effective at making its point. Singly, either one of these films are a stinging slap in the face of the triads; together they make for a fascinating study both of triad culture specifically and of the corrupting and degrading nature of power in general. There is no doubt about it, these films are To's master works.
The Hong Kong DVD release is excellent and one hundred percent English friendly. The disc of bonus features includes a trio of lengthy interviews, one each with To, Lam Suet and Lam Ka Tung, plus a seven-minute Making Of feature, all of which are English subtitled. Also included are a complete set of trailers and TV spots plus a photo gallery. Disc one includes the film with a strong anamorphic transfer that has the occasional mark or speck or dirt, but is otherwise very clear with excellent contrast, an important feature for a film that spends so much time in low light. The audio includes DTS, 5.1 and 2.0 options and the English subtitles are excellent. Even the booklet comes with a full English translation, and the edition being sold at YesAsia also includes a set of specially prepared post cards featuring still shots from the film.
To comments in his interview that he doesn't look at the Election films as typical Hong Kong gangster flicks, films made primarily to entertain through stylish violence, but as serious dramas. It's an important distinction to make, particularly from a man who has a handful of "heroic bloodshed" films under his belt. Bloodshed in these films may feature prominently but there are no heroes to be found.
by Todd Brown - Twitchfilm.net
Last fall, Election was the forceful bludgeoning Hong Kong Cinema naysayers needed. Johnnie To's guide to triad-run democracy was an entertaining, meticulously assembled, and impressively controlled filmmaking tour de force by the veteran director - and easily the most accomplished Hong Kong film of the year. To returns to rescue Hong Kong Cinema again with Election 2, a quick but astoundingly effective sequel that logically extends upon the storylines and themes presented in the original film. In Electionwe got an exhilarating cinema primer on the triad election process, and a peek at Hong Kong's cold-blooded soul. Election 2 is less exhilarating, but it compensates by doubling the cold-blooded factor, plus it serves up an ingenious reveal on the death of the election process. It's early and there hasn't been much competition, but Election 2 is so far the best Hong Kong film of 2006.
It's been two years since Lok (Simon Yam) bested Big D (Tony Leung Ka Fai) for the chairperson seat of the Wo Sing triad, and it's election time again. Lok has had a decent run, but tradition demands a new head take charge every two years. The candidates for Wo Sing's new chairperson include Kun (Gordon Lam), whose edginess and sense of entitlement recall Big D's, and the still-rabid Jet (Nick Cheung), who is only a candidate because Lok has fooled him into thinking he is one. Some people want Jimmy (Louis Koo) to run, but he is too busy making money with his pirate VCD factories to care. That suits Lok just fine; as revealed at the end of Election, Lok is more ambitious and blindly power-hungry than he initially seemed to be. Now that he's been in charge for two years, he's reluctant to let the seat go. And we mean really reluctant.
However, the smart pick is still Jimmy, and he even has the support of many of the "uncles" (led by the returning Wong Tin Lam). Jimmy is adamant about not entering the fray, but he does a double take when his business prospects get threatened. Chinese Inspector Xi (You Yong) is polite but firm about barring Jimmy's businesses from the Mainland, the implication being that Jimmy needs to have major rank in Wo Sing to gain pull with the party muck-a-mucks. The threat of lost greenbacks is enough to give Jimmy second thoughts and he throws his hat into the ring. Lok is already convinced that he can be Wo Sing's chairperson for a second term, and manipulates Kun and Jet into helping support his bid. But Jimmy is a smart guy, meaning he won't give in to Lok's ambition - and he definitely won't go fishing with the guy. With the line drawn, each candidate squares off for a mano a mano election. Planned double-crosses, crafty chicanery, and plenty of slow-burn buildup follow, as the two triad heavyweights jockey for the lead. Ultimately, it becomes clear that there's only one sure way to win the election: kill the other guy. And the battle begins.
And what a battle it isn't. Like the first film, Election 2 is not home to Mexican standoffs, blazing gunfights, or massive Young and Dangerous chopper battles. No, the major skirmishes in Election 2 are fought with brains and behind-the-scenes chess matches involving kidnapping, threatened dismemberment, and good old-fashioned logic. The result threatens to be snooze-central, as much of the film's early going seems to drag, and more often than not the buildup leads to a conversation instead of red-blooded violence. But the threat of violence is always present, and the tension Johnnie To creates is rock-solid enough to bludgeon a person. Election 2 is the type of movie where it feels like someone could jump into frame and suddenly club someone else and it would never feel inappropriate or unwarranted. These guys are ugly, morally unbridled people who will resort to nasty stuff to get the votes. Truth and just cause are not important here; what's important is getting what you want, and using everyone around you to do it. Winning an election requires tough, bloody, and sometimes stomach-churning action, and both Lok and Jimmy are willing to dirty their hands and feet to get the job done. And they do, in a sometimes gory fashion that will probably please those looking for some hint of meaty Category III thrills. When it really gets going, Election 2 isn't morally murky, it's pitch black.
Election 2's lack of happy times does provide a black comic thrill, but it actually makes the film less fun than Election. The first film struck an audience chord in its Lok vs. Big D dynamic, as each perfectly exemplified an expected triad type. Big D was brash, self-aggrandizing, and insecure, while Lok was cool, charismatic, and seemingly righteous. The juxtaposition between the two gave Election its audience identification, and Lok was easy to root for, as his righteousness and coolly logical decision-making made him the charismatic odds-on pick. That is, until he was revealed to be two-faced and cruel, and probably the worst fishing buddy in the history of time. The film was entertaining and satisfying up until Johnnie To pulled the rug out from underneath the audience, and the resulting ugliness probably left some people with a bad aftertaste. But it was fun while it lasted, and upon reflection, the film was a resounding thematic success. In contrast, Election 2 is much less fun, but it takes the lesson from its predecessor - that to play the game, you have to be a bastard - and pushes it full force. The extremity of Jimmy and Lok's competition is morbidly fascinating, but To finds other ways to entertain. He milks some welcome laughs out of the film's black situations thanks to his usual deadpan absurdities, ironic repetition, or moments of obtuse humor. The supporting actors, including returnees Lam Suet and Eddie Cheng, are funny without being cloying, and Mark Cheng is very cool as Jimmy's amoral, money-loving muscle. Simon Yam is charming and chilling as Lok, Nick Cheung is compelling and intense as Jet, and Louis Koo brings a materialistic gravity to his portrayal of Jimmy. His character has grown in command and stature since the first film, and it's very clear why Jimmy enters the election. Jimmy is a modern Hong Kong character, i.e. he's the guy who's doing it for dough and for the material comfort of his growing family. He's not in it for the glory, the prestige, or the power. He just wants the cash. And by becoming chairperson, he'll get it.
But he'll also get more than he bargained for. In Election, winning was based on how the boys played the game, but in Election 2, it's the game that plays the boys. Whereas the first film ended with a figurative and literal blow to the head, Election 2's final kicker is less a knockout punch than an insidious slow-acting poison administered when you weren't paying attention. Johnnie To serves up an ending that's dull in execution, but ingenious in its fitting, logical growth. The Election films are as much about Hong Kong as they are about triad specifics. With that sociopolitical baggage in mind, Election 2 takes on wicked significance that's sure to please local audiences - not to mention those worldwide who like to watch their cinema with political agendas in mind. It's cerebral rather than heady stuff, and will probably earn further ire from Hong Kong Cinema fans upset that Election's Category III rating was about triad content, and not sex, violence, and overdone histrionics. People looking for rock 'n' roll gangster action should avoid both these films.
Election 2 still has its problems, as its slow-burn storytelling can tax even the most patient Johnnie To fan, and lack of audience connection can definitely alienate. But fans of the original Election should be pleased by Election 2's verbalized yet potent climax and even the film's quiet and oddly unsettling final moments. The mega-fan in all of us probably still wishes To would go make A Hero Never Dies 2, but Election 2 doesn't give us much room to complain. This is an accomplished, mature Hong Kong film that departs from the romantic and sometimes pandering themes of heroism and righteousness present in most Hong Kong gangster films, and trades them for a cold-blooded, heartless reality that's compelling because it seems to ring so true. If Election 3 is in the offing, we should all be so lucky.
by Kozo - LoveHKFilm.com
Feature articles that mention "Election 2 (Hong Kong Version)"
Customer Review of "Election 2 (Hong Kong Version)"
Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: (3)
See all my reviews
September 13, 2007
This customer review refers to Election 2 (Special Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
|This films continues on from the 1st, to the 2nd term in wo sing wo Elections. Louis Ko is used by the mainland as a device to monitor and control what happens in HK. The film is very realistic, not romantic at all. It details what people in the Triad do, to keep power. The extras disc is superb, Johnnie To talks about the reason for the political statement in the Film. Also Lam Suet and Lam Ga Tung make excellent interviews.|
See all my reviews
November 4, 2006
This customer review refers to Election 2 (Special Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
Johnnie To is the best!
Continuing with the same characters in the same world as his award-winning Election, Johnnie To's Election 2 is perhaps the most natural sequel in recent memory. With another triad election coming up, Simon Yam's Lok and Louis Koo's Jimmy (both of whom give terrific performances) begin vying for the position of chairman amid distractions from family, business partners, and police officers. While further dehumanizing triad figures, Johnnie To also takes more than a few swipes at mainland China along the way. Not only are these characters ruthless, heartless, and self-motivated, but they're also pawns themselves.
Johnnie To is easily the most accomplished and mature director working in Hong Kong today, and Election 2 continues his focus on strong characters and culturally relevant themes. As with Election, the violence is a part of this world, and it is not pretty, but stick with it to the end and you'll be rewarded with a realistic conclusion that feels neither forced nor pandering.
See all my reviews
September 9, 2006
|I was very pleased with Johnny To's 2nd installment in the election series. This time around there is alot more action and suspense and less talk. The first film was basically about introducing the viewer into the wo sing society which is why there is more dialect than action, but in this movie you can expect to be on the edge of your seat because you will have no idea who will be next to get killed. This film portrays what GREED and selfishness will get you in the end. Simon Yam plays an awsome bad guy because it's so hard to read him, like they say; "its the quiet ones you must watch out for". Overall this is a great film and i gave it a 9/10.|