Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Ink & Paint is back! Daniel goes into a feline frenzy looking at 'The Aristocats' - click here to listen now!x
review, The Scoundrels, The, Scoundrels, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Jc Lin, Frederick Lee, Nana Lee, Wu Kang-Ren, Nana Lee Chien-Na, Jack Chao, Shih Ming-Shuai, Tzu-Hsuan Hung, Action, Crime, Drama film rating

KUANG TU

★★★

FUN, FAST-PACED ACTION-THRILLS FROM TAIWAN

TAIWAN FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
31st July 2019

Tzu-Hsuan Hung’s debut feature-length film ‘The Scoundrels’ is like a combination of Michael Mann’s odd-couple crime drama ‘Collateral’ (which starred Tom Cruise as an uber-competent career criminal and Jamie Foxx as his unwitting sidekick) combined with the frenetic energy of Hong Kong crime flicks directed by the likes of Ringo Lam and Andrew Lau. Basically, it’s a whole lot of fun.

Hot-headed Ray (JC Lin) is a professional basketball player until a brawl at a game effectively ends his career. With a fan hospitalised and Ray stuck with footing the bills, he has to take on a job as a parking officer to make ends meet. Desperate for cash and being not too bright, he soon finds himself working for a carjacking gang led by Hsiao-hei (Frederick Lee), sticking GPS trackers on targeted cars for them.

After a fight in an underground gambling den loses Ray his money and his watch (along with getting him shot in the leg with a nail gun), his luck goes from bad to worse when he unwittingly goes to tag the car that is being used as a getaway vehicle by the notorious Raincoat Robber, a smooth criminal responsible for a recent spate of bank van robberies across Kaohsiung. Like Robert De Niro’s impeccably-controlled thief in Mann’s ‘Heat’, this bad guy is all discipline, his energy taut and controlled. Ben (Wu Kang-Ren), as he later identifies himself, thrusts Ray into his car at gunpoint, with a hostage bleeding in the back seat.

'THE SCOUNDRELS' TRAILER

A veteran cop (Jack Kao) is convinced that fallen celebrity Ray is their man, whereas his more earnest partner (Shih Ming-Shuai) gives more credence to Ray’s story. Meanwhile, Ray’s loyal girlfriend (Nana Lee Chien-na), who seems to think he really might be guilty, resolves to stand by him anyway.

Despite his obvious fear, Ray finds himself warming to the strangely jovial Ben. The criminal gets philosophical about his agenda and encourages Liao to embrace his darker nature while the other man, aware of his own flaws, remains unconvinced that criminality is a reaction to an unjust society.

JC Lin is excellent as the fiery-but-decent Ray, while Wu Kang-ren is suave and charismatic as Ben. As the thief begins to plan his next robbery, a bromance begins to blossom. ‘The Scoundrels’ becomes something of a long, dark night of two souls as Ray becomes inextricably involved in Ben's nefarious schemes - it's an interesting (if underdeveloped) character study that also works in triplicate as a film noir and a road movie.

‘The Scoundrels’ becomes something of a long, dark night of two souls as Ray becomes inextricably involved in Ben's nefarious schemes - it's an interesting (if underdeveloped) character study that also works in triplicate as a film noir and a road movie.

The script by Huang Chien-ming is fast-paced (although it ditches the mismatched buddy comedy vibe about halfway through) and allows Hung to impress with some inventive action set pieces (choreographed by Scott Hung) and impressive camera tricks, courtesy of cinematographers Chen Ko-chin and Chen Chih-hsuan. The visuals are slick - in neo-noir fashion, coastal Taiwan is all rain-drenched moonlit streets, gleaming spires and shiny hospitals. Like ‘Collateral’, it’s a film about architectural space and seeing parts of the city that you don’t normally - in this case Kaohsiung’s alleys, overpasses and high-density architecture.

Aside from the sudden shift in gear tonally between its two halves, Hung’s debut is a confident, impressively staged and (most importantly) fun action movie from a country that rarely produces them with this much aplomb.

FAST FACTS
AKA: The Scoundrels
RELEASE DATE: 29/07/2019
RUN TIME: 1h 45m
CAST: Jc Lin
Frederick Lee
Nana Lee
Wu Kang-Ren
Nana Lee Chien-Na
Jack Chao
Shih Ming-Shuai
DIRECTOR: Tzu-Hsuan Hung
WRITER: Huang Chien-Ming
PRODUCERS: Lin Tien-Kuei
Hsu Kuo-Lun
SCORE: Cliff Lin & Yang Wan-Chien
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
Britannia III - A new and dark force
TRENDINGWIN BRITANNIA IIIA new and dark force
The Power of the Dog - Jane Campion howls back onto the big screen
TRENDINGWIN THE POWER OF THE DOGJane Campion howls back onto the big screen
Revisiting the 'Harry Potter' series - 20 years with the groundbreaking fantasy epic
TRENDINGREVISITING THE 'HARRY POTTER' SERIES20 years with the groundbreaking fantasy epic
Eternals - Packing too much into the MCU
TRENDINGETERNALSPacking too much into the MCU
The Power of the Dog - Jane Campion returns with a magnificent epic on the human heart
TRENDINGTHE POWER OF THE DOGJane Campion returns with a magnificent epic on the human heart
Love You Like That - Love is in the air - and it's crazy
TRENDINGLOVE YOU LIKE THATLove is in the air - and it's crazy
Sydney Film Festival 2021 - The reviews
TRENDINGSYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2021The reviews
Cosmic Sin - A film that delivers on the promise of its title
TRENDINGCOSMIC SINA film that delivers on the promise of its title
The Eyes of Tammy Faye - Grab a Diet Coke - this biopic is truly blessed
TRENDINGTHE EYES OF TAMMY FAYEGrab a Diet Coke - this biopic is truly blessed
The Glass Room - Stunning yet soulless
TRENDINGTHE GLASS ROOMStunning yet soulless
Sorry, Wrong Number - An inventive slice of 1940s film noir
TRENDINGSORRY, WRONG NUMBERAn inventive slice of 1940s film noir
Romantic Road - Falling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
TRENDINGROMANTIC ROADFalling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale - An extremely silly zomedy
TRENDINGTHE ODD FAMILY: ZOMBIE ON SALEAn extremely silly zomedy
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
Monty Python's Flying Circus: The Complete Series - Sketches at a revolution
TRENDINGMONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS: THE COMPLETE SERIESSketches at a revolution
The Swallows of Kabul - Unflinching and gorgeously animated
TRENDINGTHE SWALLOWS OF KABULUnflinching and gorgeously animated
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
The First Wives Club - Sisters are still doin' it for themselves 25 years later
TRENDINGTHE FIRST WIVES CLUBSisters are still doin' it for themselves 25 years later
PAW Patrol: The Movie - The pups' first theatrical mission is barking with joy
TRENDINGPAW PATROL: THE MOVIEThe pups' first theatrical mission is barking with joy
© 2011 - 2021 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!