The Unwritten Law (1985)

Directed by
Reviewed by Simon on 2004-11-01

Hong Kong really shouldn't attempt legal dramas - a genre that relies on solid research of law (and often medicine), plus clever scripting that creates surprising yet believable twists to keep us hooked. This makes it singularly unsuited to Hong Kong's typically slapdash approach to film-making.

Andy Lau plays a newly graduated lawyer whose first case is to defend a "cheap whore" against charges of murdering the son of a wealthy and powerful business man. No other lawyer will touch the case, because the father is very influential and she can't afford to pay much - plus they're all sure she'll lose. Undaunted, Andy sets about assembling and presenting a defence.

The Unwritten Law is wholly unoriginal, and almost completely predictable - and let down by a script that's not exactly retarded, but certainly isn't going to engage the brain too much. In other words, it's lacking everything that might make a legal drama compelling.

The one saving grace is that Andy Lau gives a good and fairly mature performance, in one of his early roles.