Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
From zombie mutants to psychological terrors, click here to check out SWITCH's reviews from this year's Fantastic Film Festival!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

THE SCOUNDRELS

★★★

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: Kuang Tu
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
Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears - A global adventure for the legendary lady detective
TRENDINGWIN MISS FISHER AND THE CRYPT OF TEARSA global adventure for the legendary lady detective
The Wishmas Tree - A magical experience for the whole family
TRENDINGWIN THE WISHMAS TREEA magical experience for the whole family
In My Blood It Runs - An eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
TRENDINGIN MY BLOOD IT RUNSAn eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
The Professor and the Madman - Mel Gibson's dictionary origin story a dry read
TRENDINGTHE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMANMel Gibson's dictionary origin story a dry read
Standing Up For Sunny - A comedy without the comedy but very sweet
TRENDINGSTANDING UP FOR SUNNYA comedy without the comedy but very sweet
Happy Ending - An extra-wrinkly sex comedy
TRENDINGHAPPY ENDINGAn extra-wrinkly sex comedy
Children of the Sea - Sunk by a soggy script
TRENDINGCHILDREN OF THE SEASunk by a soggy script
A Guide to Second Date Sex - A quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
TRENDINGA GUIDE TO SECOND DATE SEXA quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
Fantastic Film Festival Australia 2020 - The reviews
TRENDINGFANTASTIC FILM FESTIVAL AUSTRALIA 2020The reviews
Chained for Life - The aesthetics of acting
TRENDINGCHAINED FOR LIFEThe aesthetics of acting
Leftover Women - Feminists beware, this one's a blood boiler
TRENDINGLEFTOVER WOMENFeminists beware, this one's a blood boiler
Under The Silver Lake - Not so deep
TRENDINGUNDER THE SILVER LAKENot so deep
A Serial Killer's Guide to Life - A gory and funny road trip of self-discovery
TRENDINGA SERIAL KILLER'S GUIDE TO LIFEA gory and funny road trip of self-discovery
NT Live: Fleabag - The birth of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterwork
TRENDINGNT LIVE: FLEABAGThe birth of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterwork
Parasite - A bloodthirsty and very funny look at class warfare
TRENDINGPARASITEA bloodthirsty and very funny look at class warfare
School's Out - The children know too much
TRENDINGSCHOOL'S OUTThe children know too much
Blue - A thought-provoking underwater journey
TRENDINGBLUEA thought-provoking underwater journey
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
The Golden Glove - Repellent and pointless
TRENDINGTHE GOLDEN GLOVERepellent and pointless
The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale - An extremely silly zomedy
TRENDINGTHE ODD FAMILY: ZOMBIE ON SALEAn extremely silly zomedy
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us