Golden Job 黄金兄弟 (2018) Review

It’s the 90s all over again, with the Young And Dangerous <古惑仔之人在江湖> team making a comeback that reunites Ekin Cheng, Jordan Chan, Michael Tse, Jerry Lamb and Chin Ka-Lok.

But in Golden Job <黄金兄弟>, this globe-trotting action thriller trades machetes with heavy pyrotechnics consisting of gunfights, explosions and car chases. Co-star and action director Chin Ka-Lok, who also tripled as the movie’s director (this would be his third after 97 Ace Go Places <最佳拍檔之醉街拍檔> and No Problem 2 <無問題2>), blends his movie with enough nostalgia that brings back good old memories for those who grew up watching Young And Dangerous <古惑仔之人在江湖> series.

Ekin Cheng and Jordan Chan reunite in “Golden Job” (2018).

Which is why it feels like a comfort zone watching Ekin Cheng and the rest of his co-stars together. Each cast members are perfectly typecast that fits well their respective onscreen personalities. For instance, Ekin Cheng is cool and charismatic as Lion while Jordan Chan delivers a familiar emotionally intense role as the short-fused Crater.

Their strong chemistry is further justified with the help of Kwok Kin-Lok, Erica Li and Heiward Mak’s screenplay, in which they utilise the recurring themes of brotherhood and friendship in a poignant manner. It immediately reminds me of how Benny Chan successfully revisiting those two aforementioned themes in The White Storm <掃毒> five years ago, another nostalgia-heavy action thriller that did right with effective storytelling. If that’s not enough, Golden Job <黄金兄弟> gave us a new theme song and even revisits Young And Dangerous‘ <古惑仔之人在江湖> iconic song that solidified its nostalgia factor that bound to please both fans and newcomers alike.

Jordan Chan and Eric Tsang in “Golden Job” (2018).

The movie also features Yasuaki Kurata as well as the long-missed Billy Chow, whose last appearance was the little-seen 2005 China-made production called Great Heart <誓不罷休>. Although he doesn’t get to fight much in Golden Job <黄金兄弟>, it’s still nice to see him back in a major Hong Kong production. Too bad the female stars played by Charmaine Sheh and Zhang Yamei are reduced to thankless roles.

The action is a mixed bag, with some of them either looking ridiculously over-the-top and visually inconsistent (the Fukuoka-set nighttime car chase quickly comes to mind) or hampered by obvious CG blood. And yet, Chin Ka-Lok’s action choreography is frequently thrilling and tense enough to offset these technical flaws. 


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