The Hung Hing boys are back and this time, they are about to face a ruthless enemy who not only wants power, but goes to extreme methods to ensure that the new Triad regime is even more powerful than old traditions.
Crow is a member of the Tung Sing Triads in Hong Kong. When he is confronted by a former underling, he is convinced that the traditions of being a Triad member has clearly been outdated. He even pulls off slick moves with the support of fellow gangster Tiger under the nose of their boss, Tung Sing head Camel Lok. Camel wants nothing more than peace between them and the Hung Hing Society, run by Chiang Tin-Sung.
Meanwhile, Chan Ho-Nam is reeling from the effects that his girlfriend Smartie was involved in an accident. When she awakens from her coma, she is revealed to have amnesia. Nam and his friends do all they can to help Smartie. Chicken even finds himself a new love in Shuk-Fan, a British educated woman who is the daughter of Priest Lam. However, when Nam is invited to go on a trip to Holland with Mr. Chiang, Crow and Tiger set up Nam to be the fall guy when Chiang is murdered. Even worse, Crow and Tiger plan to make sure Nam and the Hung Hing boys don’t survive in order for them to begin running drugs in Hong Kong. A tragic event sends Nam off the deep end and a showdown to end it all is inevitable between Hung Hing and Tung Sing.
This third installment can be best described as perhaps the most ruthless of the entire saga thanks to the chilling performance of Roy Cheung as Crow. Cheung, a veteran Hong Kong actor who is more known to play villains, steals the show here as the gangster who is determined to show that the traditions of the Triad are outdated. In some aspect, characters who are veteran gangsters, such as Victor Hon’s Uncle Eight Fingers even mentions how the young gangsters today are not like the old. In one particular scene, Chicken even mentions something along the lines of this when he, Dai Tin-Yee, and Banana Skin are confronted by a band of young Tung Sing goons on the boys’ childhood soccer field.
The film has many interconnecting stories. Along with Crow’s unrelenting actions towards both his boss and the Hung Hing, there is the story of Chan Ho-Nam and his amnesiac girlfriend Smartie. Reeling from the effects of the previous film, Smartie not only has lost her memory, but she lost her stutter in the process. This is where Jerry Lamb’s Pou-Pan shows a bit of annoyance as his way of trying to help Smartie is by constantly stuttering. And for the record, this does annoy some of the other guys. There is also Chicken possibly finding love again after his heartbreak in the last film. He meets Shuk-Fan, a punk girl who speaks English and Chinese, who just happens to be the local priest’s daughter. Karen Mok, a Chinese-British actress who has been in films in both Hong Kong and the U.S. (Around the World in 80 Days with Jackie Chan), is perfectly cast as Chicken’s new love interest. Not only is she just a punker, but she is both smart and deadly as well.
In what is the tradition of the series, some actors return to play new characters. While Jason Chu returned in the last film as Banana Skin after playing the ill-fated Chou-Pan in the original, “Uncle Bee” himself, Frankie Ng, returns to the saga as a new character. This time, he switches sides to play the character of Tiger, Crow’s partner-in-crime in his rise to power. Another former real-life gangster turned actor, Michael Chan, is great as the elder Tung Sing boss, Camel Lok. Simon Yam makes his final bow in the series as respected Hung Hing head Chiang Tin-Sung.
The film also boasts the international city of Amsterdam in Holland. It is there we see the first of the tragedy that Nam must endure. However, before that pivotal moment, there is a bit of fun in the film as we see Ajax Amsterdam fans and local residents showing off for the camera. They know they are being filmed and relish in the moment in some of the scenes shot on location in the city.
Young and Dangerous 3 does well thanks to Roy Cheung’s scene stealing performance as the ruthless Crow. The Amsterdam scenes are a fun distraction at first before the film veers into a very tragic story that culminates in a very insane finale.
WFG RATING: B+
A Jing’s Production Limited/B.O.B. & Partners Ltd. production. Director: Andrew Lau. Producer: Manfred Wong. Writer: Manfred Wong and Chau Ting; based on the comic book “Teddy Boy” by Cow Man. Cinematography: Andrew Lau. Editing: “Marco”.
Cast: Ekin Cheng, Jordan Chan, Jerry Lamb, Michael Tse, Jason Chu, Roy Cheung, Gigi Lai, Anthony Wong, Simon Yam, Frankie Ng, Michael Chan, Karen Mok, Spencer Lam, Blacky Ko,
Victor Hon, Halina Tam, Helena Law.