The second installment of the 1990’s Triad saga starts with what had happened to Jordan Chan’s Chicken in the first film combined with the present day.
Chan Ho-Nam, having defeated the betrayer Ugly Kwan, has opened up a new bar in Wanchai named after his boss, Brother Bee. When Nam asks Chicken what had happened in Taiwan, he finally tells his story. Having split with Nam and the boys after their failed mission in Macau, Chicken looks for his cousin “Swindler” Wah, who is a member of the San Luen Gang. When Wah asks head boss Lui Kung for Chicken to join the gang, Lui accepts and Chicken starts out as a driver and as a bodyguard for the boss.
During his time in Taiwan, Chicken meets Ting Yiu, Lui Kwan’s woman. Chicken and Ting Yiu become attracted to each other and start a relationship. Having proven himself in the meantime, Chicken has become a branch leader in Taiwan and has returned to Hong Kong to help Nam in his time of need. However, what Chicken soon learns is that the first woman he had ever loved has other plans in mind and it doesn’t help that Hung Hing has another member of the gang, Tai Fei, who is beginning to cause trouble. What will happen when Chicken and Nam are framed for the murder of Lui Kung and Ting Yiu plans to take over the San Luen Gang herself with the help of Tai Fei?
It is clear that Andrew Lau and Manfred Wong have come up with a plan for this second installment of the film series based on the comic book Teddy Boy. Perhaps being influenced by the classic The Godfather Part II (1974), Wong and Sharon Hui collaborated on a script that would mesh the past and the present. The first half of the film is set in the past, where we learn what had become of Jordan Chan’s character of Chicken during the events of the first film when he makes the decision to go to Taiwan. It seems that Chicken goes through some life-altering changes, especially actually falling in love for the first time, but with the boss’ girl.
Chingmy Yau does well as the femme fatale Ting Yiu. She is exactly how she is described, a true femme fatale who seeks power and uses her looks to get that power. Using Chicken as a pawn to her rise, she doesn’t realize that Chicken had actually fallen for her, a trait that one would never expect from that character. However, it is when her true intentions in the present that the film really picks up thanks to her seething character and that of the very trashworthy Tai Fei, played by Anthony Wong. Wong’s Tai Fei can be described as the second version of Kwan, but not as ruthless. He has some bad habits and even goes as far as beat up Michael Tse’s Dai Tin-Yee due to the fact that he is dating his sister KK.
While Ekin Cheng’s Chan Ho-Nam doesn’t seem to make a big an impact as he had with the first film, his character still proves to be pivotal as he will go to any great lengths to help his friend. However, even Nam is proven that he’s no Superman as something bad awaits him. Don’t worry folks, he doesn’t die, but something bad does happen that affects him.
Young and Dangerous 2 is a worthy follow-up to the original film, thanks to its juxtapositioning of the past and present. While Chicken is the primary focus, it does show why the Hung Hing boys really show they are the best of friends in a dangerous world.
WFG RATING: A-
A Jing’s Production Limited/B.O.B. & Partners Ltd. production. Director: Andrew Lau. Producers: Manfred Wong and Spencer Chan. Writers: Manfred Wong and Sharon Hui; based on the comic “Teddy Boy” by Cow Man. Cinematography: Andrew Lau. Editing: “Marco”.
Cast: Ekin Cheng, Jordan Chan, Jerry Lamb, Michael Tse, Jason Chu, Chingmy Yau, Gigi Lai, Anthony Wong, Simon Yam, Spencer Lam, Blacky Ko, Kelly Lai.