Legend Of Speed (1999)

Directed by
enjoy the ride
Reviewed by Simon on 2001-11-18

I had been avoiding this one for a long time (since it came out in fact) due to all the negative reviews I heard (and the high price tag). Finally decided to rent it, and enjoyed it a lot more than I expected.

A lot of people who like to hate on Andrew Lau and the BoB crew, and I can see why, but I don't think it's entirely reasonable. The script for LOS is what you'd expect from Manfred Wong (i.e. absolutely no subtlety or depth, and a minimum of logic, but lots of melodrama), and Andrew Lau doesn't exactly strive to bring out a deeper side to the story either. This is expected. However, the movie does have lots of dramatic stuff going on, and all presented with very striking visuals. Andrew Lau has a good eye for style, and editor Marco Mak knows how to use his shots well. CG team Centro don't have a lot to do here, but they do some good work to enhance the visuals in places, particularly the finale.

The plot is all about racing, and honour, and revenge and such stuff. Ekin Cheng plays a spoilt rich kid who likes to race, but isn't prepared for the stakes that are involved when he takes on race supremo Simon Yam. Beaten and disgraced, he heads to Thailand to find his natural father (taking rather well the discovery that he is Blacky Ko), somehow learns something important from him and heads back to HK for revenge. Cecilia Cheung plays jailbait, and Patrick Tam her somehow disabled brother (never adequately explained exactly what's wrong with him). Simon Yam steals the show as the cool and ruthless rival racer though. Don't look for deep characters or powerful messages here, but do enjoy the ride.