Nightfall (2012) review

Wow, it’s been 2 months since I last posted. I’ve been pretty busy lately with holidays, parents visiting and other random crap, but hopefully I can get motivated again to start writing. So without further ado…

Nightfall (大追捕) (2012)

After serving 20 years for murder, Eugene Wang (Nick Cheung) is released from prison. He quickly develops an obsession with Zoe (Janice Man), the daughter of composer Han Tsui (Michael Wong). When Han’s horribly disfigured body washes up on a beach, vetrain cop Inspector Lam (Simon Yam) begins investigating the case and believes Wang is the prime suspect. However after digging into Han’s past he reveals a number of dark secrets which change the lives of everyone involved.

Nick Cheung kicking ass in a prison riot.

Nightfall is a well-paced cat-and-mouse thriller which has enough twists and turns to keep the audience interested throughout. The film received some mixed reviews but personally I really enjoyed it. Nightfall feels like a throw back to the Hong Kong films of the late 80s early 90s where directors would combine a number of genres together.

Here, we have a thriller with elements of horror, action, comedy and suspense thrown in. None of these genre elements are used to their full potential, however, but it makes for an interestingly nostalgic experience. Far too many Hong Kong films nowadays strive to imitate Hollywood films and somewhere along the line they’ve lost their unique, fun style and creatitity.

Nick Cheung and Simon Yam fight in a cable car.

As always, Simon Yam is great in his role as Inspector Liu  and even Michael Wong’s overacting is used to good effect as the boarder-line psychotic Han Tsui. There are a couple of plot inconsistencies here and there but nothing that detracts from the viewers’ enjoyment and thankfully, unlike many recent Hong Kong thrillers, it doesn’t deteriorate into over the top melodrama.

Here in Hong Kong, the film was promoted with this faux-wanted poster. Reportedly some morons thought it was real and contacted the police as they were concerned about Nick Cheung’s safety.

You could say that the film is quite sloppy, with it’s lack of genre focus, and you’d be right. But at the end of the day, Nightfall highly entertaining, albiet slightly flawed, film with some great twists and turns and a gripping plot.

7.5/10

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About David

Originally born in England, I moved to Hong Kong in August 2010 to teach English to primary school students.
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