High Risk (1995) / Action-Thriller

MPAA Rated: R for strong violence and some language
Running Time: 97 min.

Cast: Jet Li, Jacky Cheung, Chingmy Yau, Valerie Chow, Corey Yuen
Director: Wong Jing, Lam Wai-Lun
Screenplay: Wong Jing

Review published July 18, 1998

A ruthless kidnapper kills a bomb squad inspector's wife and child along with dozens of other children in a failed attempt for ransom. He enters a life of obscurity, becoming a bodyguard and sometime stunt double for Frankie Lane, an international kung fu superstar. When Frankie attends an exhibition for the Russian crown jewels at a hotel in Hong Kong, the same kidnapper takes over the building. Now it's up to Kit (the bodyguard) to save the people, the building and revenge his family.

Basically, HIGH RISK is just DIE HARD Hong Kong-style. It's relatively boring considering the multitudinous DIE HARD rip-offs which have been released in the last 10 years. The film does offer a few nice touches: The lampooning of Jackie Chan (here as the character Frankie Lane) provides some comic moments, and the action sequences are impressive, although it's hard to swallow a thousand rounds from semi-automatic machine guns never hitting Jet Li. Screenwriter Wong Jing proves once again he's one of the most overrated writers in Hong Kong, as there's hardly an original moment in the film. HIGH RISK should have been titled LOW INTEREST as there's just a little too much deja vu to be truly exciting.

Qwipster's rating:

1998 Vince Leo