Long Arm of the Law II

Long Arm of the Law II ★★★½

not as good as the first one but nobody's perfect, including original director Johnny Mak's brother Michael, who took over the series, here the criminal mainlanders are pressed into informant and infiltration service with the promise of freedom and citizenship and the title certainly lets you know how that goes, it's less ambiguous and more sentimental and operatic than the first yet it's still a VERY bleak and deterministic tale, still with its own moments of extreme violence (including a severed head call back??), they're trapped like rats in the endless violent urban maze of hong kong (great use of verticality and of course neon) and brings to mind Thoret's 'aquarium syndrome' theory of Michael Mann: "All is breakaway and exteriority on this impossible island that is a goldfish bowl..."

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