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Gatao (2015) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Sunny Wang (Actor) | Alien Huang (Actor) | Vicky Chen (Actor) | Tsai Chen Nan (Actor)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Actor-singer Alien Huang (Din Tao: Leader of the Parade) and idol drama star Sunny Wang (In Time With You) make gritty turns in the gangster action thriller Gatao. Directed by Joe Lee (The Spin Kid), the gangland drama, whose title refers to the Taiwanese term for local gangs, unleashes an all-out turf war in the bustling streets of Taiwan.

Qing Feng (Sun Peng, First of May) is the top lieutenant under gang boss Yong (Tsai Chen Nan). Three years ago, his good friend Xiong (Alien Huang) went to jail for him in the name of brotherhood. Upon his return, Xiong is immediately favored by Yong, which plants a growing rift in his friendship with Qing Feng. Over on the rival gang side, U.S.-educated Michael (Sunny Wang) returns to Taiwan to take over for his late father and applies ruthless business strategies to expand his turf. With his eyes set on a profitable property development project, Michael will stop at nothing to eliminate Yong and take over his turf.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Gatao (2015) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 角頭 (2015) (DVD) (香港版) 角头 (2015) (DVD) (香港版) 角頭 (2015) (DVD) (香港版) Gatao (2015) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Sunny Wang (Actor) | Alien Huang (Actor) | Vicky Chen (Actor) | Tsai Chen Nan (Actor) | Hsia Ching Ting (Actor) | Jason Hsu (5566) (Actor) | Yen Cheng Kuo (Actor) | Sun Peng (Actor) | Kao Meng Chieh (Actor) | Fabien Yang (Lollipop-F) (Actor) | Christina Mok (Actor) 王 陽明 (Actor) | 小鬼 (黃鴻升) (Actor) | 陳孝萱 (Actor) | 蔡振南 (Actor) | 夏靖庭 (Actor) | 許孟哲 (Actor) | 顏正國 (Actor) | 孫鵬 (Actor) | 高盟傑 (Actor) | 小煜 (Lollipop-F) (Actor) | 莫允雯 (Actor) 王 阳明 (Actor) | 小鬼 (黄鸿升) (Actor) | 陈孝萱 (Actor) | 蔡振南 (Actor) | 夏靖庭 (Actor) | 许孟哲 (Actor) | 颜正国 (Actor) | 孙鹏 (Actor) | 高盟杰 (Actor) | 小煜 (Lollipop-F) (Actor) | 莫允雯 (Actor) サニー・ワン (Actor) | 黄鴻升 (エイリアン・ホァン) (Actor) | 陳孝萱(ヴィッキー・チェン) (Actor) | 蔡振南(ツァイ・チェンナン) (Actor) | 夏靖庭(シャー・ジンティン) (Actor) | 許孟哲(ジェイソン・シュー) (Actor) | Yen Cheng Kuo (Actor) | Sun Peng (Actor) | Kao Meng Chieh (Actor) | Fabien Yang (Lollipop-F) (Actor) | Christina Mok (Actor) Sunny Wang (Actor) | Alien Huang (Actor) | Vicky Chen (Actor) | Tsai Chen Nan (Actor) | Hsia Ching Ting (Actor) | Jason Hsu (5566) (Actor) | Yen Cheng Kuo (Actor) | Sun Peng (Actor) | Kao Meng Chieh (Actor) | Fabien Yang (Lollipop-F) (Actor) | Christina Mok (Actor)
Director: Joe Lee 李運傑 李运杰 Joe Lee Joe Lee
Writer: Joe Lee 李運傑 李运杰 Joe Lee Joe Lee
Release Date: 2016-02-19
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: Taiwan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Widescreen Anamorphic: Yes
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Rating: IIB
Duration: 104 (mins)
Publisher: Kam & Ronson Enterprises Co Ltd
Package Weight: 100 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1048895251

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Gatao (2015) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

March 29, 2016

Gatao is a Taiwanese take on the Triad drama, the word being a slang term for local gangs. Directed by Joe Lee (The Spin Kid), the film is headlined by a trio of top young stars in actor-singer Alien Huang (Din Tao: Leader of the Parade), television idol Sunny Wang (In Time with You) and Sun Peng (First of May), playing young hoodlums who come up against each other in the expected manner.

The film begins with a young man called Xiong (Alien Huang) being released from jail, where he'd spent three years after taking the fall for his friend and gang brother Qing Feng (Sun Peng). Returning to the service of Boss Yong (Tsai Chen Nan), Xiong is soon flavour of the month, much to the growing discomfort of Qing Feng, himself now an ambitious top lieutenant. With the distance between the two former friends increasing thanks to their mutual affection for a girl called Lei Lei (Christina Mok, Apple in Your Eye), a leadership struggle looks to be on the cards, a situation made worse by the appearance of Michael, a young, ruthless U.S. educated mobster who will stop at nothing to take over Yong's turf, employing business strategies to achieve his goals.

As should be obvious, there's nothing original whatsoever about Gatao, and Joe Lee follows the usual formula to the letter, the script never deviating from the time-honoured story of young thugs doing what young thugs generally do in this kind of film. Themes of brotherhood, jealously and ambition are all present and correct, and the film comes complete with a love triangle of sorts, with Xiong and Qing Feng clashing for heart of Lei Lei as well as gangland power. Relentlessly macho, the film is clearly aiming at John Woo-style male bonding, though comes across more as simply being melodramatic, with lots of angsty brooding and worrying about loyalty. To be fair, Lee does add in a few hints of substance here and there, and as with The Spin Kid touches on the clash between tradition and modernity to reasonable effect. This isn't really sufficient to distract from the absolute familiarity of the film however, and it remains predictable from start to finish.

How much of a problem this is depends largely on the viewer, as in its favour Gatao largely gets things right, and ticks enough genre boxes to make it a solid and entertaining example of the form. The film benefits greatly from what was obviously a decent budget, and Lee ensures that it looks great throughout, successfully combining stylish flourishes with back-alley grittiness. An evocative and atmospheric sense of location also helps, Lee making the most of its night markets, temples and neon-lit streets, and this does give the film more of a Taiwanese feel, setting it somewhat apart from its Hong Kong counterparts.

Keeping the film to an efficient hour and forty minutes was a smart move, and it rattles along at a fair pace, a few sappy interludes notwithstanding. There's plenty of action along the way, and though for the most part this consists of the usual mass brawls and beatings, the violence is well-choreographed and lends the film a much-needed hard edge. The young cast are all on passable form and are suitably convincing in their sketchy, routine roles, and though Alien Huang and Sun Peng aren't particularly memorable, Sunny Wang at least seems to have been having fun as the vicious and unstable Michael.

There's certainly enough here to make Gatao worthwhile for fans of gang dramas, though it's a bit of a shame that Joe Lee didn't seem to have the ambition to try anything fresh or different with the form. Still, it's a film which wears its heart on its sleeve, and which does what it does with enthusiasm and style, making for an entertaining watch in a modest and unchallenging manner.

by James Mudge -

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

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