Well Go U.S.A. continues to mine the rich vein of Far East action thrillers with news this week that cult Hong Kong-based producer and director Johnnie To’s latest film, Drug War, will be making its domestic DVD and Blu-ray debut on Oct. 15.
A limited domestic theatrical run (for critical appraisal) generated ticket sales of $25,539 and the ARR is a swift-to-market 81 days.
Of note, this is To’s first “Mainland” production (in other words, outside of Hong Kong) and he has taken full advantage of the broad canvas offered him — I doubt if this film could be brought home for under $50 million in the United States.
Drug War is absolutely gorgeous, with scene after scene effectively staged, with even the unexpected, the minor and the very unglamorous (where people hide drugs is not left to the imagination) holding our attention (think: the production values of a James Bond film to give you some sort of reference point).
Add to this a tightly-wound script that has a drug dealer (a player) named Timmy Choi (Louis Koo — Protégé, Run Papa Run, etc.) being captured by a no-nonsense Tianjin police captain named Zhang (Sun Honglei — Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan, Lurk, A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop, etc.), who views him as nothing more than a key to unraveling a larger organization — when his services are no longer needed he will become expendable and Choi knows it.
In a cat-and-mouse game, Choi has to give Zhang enough to stay alive … but the more he gives, the tighter the vise grows and the closer he comes to blowing his cover. A nifty crime thriller that is well-worth a look … presented in Mandarin with English subtitles.
To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report