IMDb wrote: Breaking News (2006)
Director: Johnnie To
Genre: Action / Crime / Drama
Also Known As:
Â Breaking News (Hong Kong: English title) (Philippines: English title)
Â Da shi jian (Hong Kong: Mandarin title)
Â Daai si gin (Hong Kong: original title)
Runtime: Philippines:88 min (cut) / Hong Kong:90 min / Argentina:90 min (Mar del Plata Film Festival)
Language: Cantonese / Mandarin / English
SoundMix: Dolby Digital
Certification: Australia:M / Hungary:14 / Malaysia:18SG / Philippines:R-13 (MTRCB) / Germany:12 / Singapore:PG / Canada:13+ (Quebec) / Argentina:13 / Sweden:15 / Switzerland:12 (canton of Geneva) / Switzerland:12 (canton of Vaud)
Breaking News had made people talk a lot about it here in France as it had been selected for Cannes' Festival in 2004. It's a shame then I've only finally discovered it only a few days ago, thanks Liewen who has offered it to me
I already knew that Breaking News had one of the most astonishing begining with a 8 minutes "one shot plan" (how do we say plan sÃ©quence in english ?), totally uncut, during which the camera moves from one corner of a street to another, delivering in one single sequence all the keys to the movie.
In this sequence, we see a bank robbery is tacking place while police detectives are looking after the area, awaiting to make their move at the right time.
This amazing sequence finally ends when suddenly, all things precipitate themselves. Because of a zealous policeman in uniform, the falsely peacefull street becomes a war zone between the police forces and the gangsters who are trying to disapear with their bundle.
Their escape puts the Hong-Kong Police in serious trouble regarding its image in the population, especially because a TV reporter got on tape a police officer beging for mercy, making a fool of all Police officers for the audience.
Police Department decides to strike back for its image by organizing the criminals' capture in a live show broadcasted on TV.
All Police forces, as well as all journalists available, are requested at the bottom of the apartment building where the gangsters have been located.
Caught in the building, the burglars find themselves new allies and quickly understand that, thanks to the internet, they can also play the game of the media. Their fight against Police will then takes place on two fronts, and Police might see the games they have started turing against them ...
In 2002, while Hollywood was "stealing" Â John Woo to Hong-Kong, Infernal Affairs (it's a real shame none has replied to that topic...) showed that Hong-Kong's action cinema was far to be dead. On the contrary it was still capable of reniewing itself and revolutionize the genre with new bases which would be copied by the greatest Hollywood direstors only years after (like Scorsese's The Departed, remake of Infernal Affairs).
The problem with Hong-Kong cinema is that when they have a good idea, they pressure it till the end and if Infernal Affairs II, released in 2003, is imho, the very best of the trilogy, Infernal Affairs III released the very same year should be forgotten in oblivion and could quickly make people think about a new incoming crisis in Hong-Kong genre movies' industry.
Hopefully, others were already here to take over. Shot in real colours with an amazing talent, Breaking News was certainly among them.
If Infernal Affairs was already renewing the genre by making the movie a lot more realistic than, The Killer for example, Breaking News reinforces the tendency. One force of the movie is that it seems very very realistic. A great attention has been given to the details and that's clearly viewable on screen. We don't see anymore gunfights with never-empty guns used by people shooting everywhere without even aiming. Here the bullets seem counted and the moves are very precise, precise and efficient.
The movie also shows over-urban environment we are more used to see in animes/mangas than in movies. The appartment buildings in which the police officers are looking for the gangsters are very alarming and oppressive.
If the environnment and the action shooting brings a lot to Breaking News, the story and the characters are not in rest.
The characters are very interresting. They are still very charismatic like in all HK movies but far less "heroic". We get to know them better and they are closer to us than usually these kinds of characters are. They are "professionals" who could have become something else, cook or even cop as we'll learn it in a great cooking scene.
As you might have guessed it now, I've really liked Breaking News a lot and easily grant it with a very well deserved 5/6.
Go see it if you've missed it !!