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Breaking News (2004, Richie Ren, Kelly Chen)

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Police drama set in Hong Kong. A gang of robbers are caught up in a gunfight with police while making their getaway. They are particularly ruthless and shoot a police officer who is on his knees pleading for his life – this event is caught on camera and broadcast by a roving news crew. This embarrasses the police bosses and they set about to regain their lost reputation in the public eye by putting on a show of force to catch the fleeing bandits. Deputy commander Rebecca Fong is tasked with organising the response as police are sent out replete with video cameras so that images of positive results can be provided to the media. As the bandits hole-up in a block of flats with hostages and the police lay siege, a battle of wills ensues between the bandit leader and Rebecca as she strives to assert a positive media spin on deteriorating events.

If you like gunfights you’ll love this movie! The first 10 minutes seems to be one long gun battle between police and robbers and plenty more as the film continues. It is a fairly routine cop drama but with the extra dimension of the police finding their media portrayal as high a priority as actually catching the villains.

One amusing moment is when the villains have a family hostage and they all sit down for a “family” meal and release the images on an internet webcam to show how well the captives are being treated – the police respond by providing all the officers on duty with takeaway meals to show the public that their men are not going hungry either! Possibly the gun battles are too many and in no way special leaving less time to explore the media manipulation aspect of the plot.

production details
Hong Kong | 90 minutes | 2004

Director: Johnnie To
Script: Chan Hing-Kar, Yip Tin-Shing,

cast
Richie Ren as Yuen
Kelly Chen as Commissioner Rebecca Fong
Nick Cheung as Inspector Cheung
Lam Suet as Yip
Simon Yam as Asst. Commissioner C.K. Wong
Hui Siu-Hung as Hoi
Maggie Siu as Grace Chow Wai Yee
Cheung Siu-Fai as Eric Yeung
You Yong as Cheung Chun
Ding Haifeng as Cheung Lung
Li Hai-Tao as Chung
Wong Chi-Wai as Wang
Wong Wa-Wo as White Hair
Ho Chung-Wai as Grace Chow’s assistant
Alan Chui Chung-San as Chun’s target
Tong Pau-Chung as Target’s bodyguard
Ho Hon-Chau as Target’s bodyguard

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