Hung Hing gets a new leader and the friends end up at a crossroads when they face a deadly internal conflict in this fourth installment of the film saga.
Chan Ho-Nam is invited to go to Thailand along with fellow group leaders Prince, Hon Ben, Sister 13, Fat Lai, and Kei. They learn that their late boss, Chiang Tin-Sung, has a younger brother, Tin-Yeung, who lives like a king in Thailand. After some careful consideration, Tin-Yeung accepts the offer to lead the Hung Hing group. However, as soon as he accepts, they have learned that Tuen Mun leader Dinosaur has been killed.
An internal conflict soon arises when both Chicken and Dinosaur’s right hand man, Barbarian, are considered to take over the position in Tuen Mun. Despite reservations towards Chicken, Nam supports his buddy. However, it is soon revealed that Barbarian is in cahoots with North Point leader Fat Lai, who holds a grudge against Nam and his boys, as well as Lui Yiu-Yeung, a very charismatic and dangerous member of the rival Tung Sing group. When the lives of those close to Chicken and Nam are threatened, resulting in the death of a dear one, Chicken must now unleash what he can not only to win the Tuen Mun post, but make sure Hung Hing is once again the righteous group it had originally was to become.
This fourth installment, set months just before the handover of Hong Kong to China in July 1997, takes a bit of a departure as with the second film, the focus shifts to Chicken. However, to start the film, the Hung Hing group sets out to replace their fallen leader by learning that there is a younger brother, who is wonderfully played by series newcomer Alex Man. While Simon Yam’s Tin-Sang made a charismatic leader who was all about actions, Man’s Tin-Yeung is a business-minded leader who is more about money and prosperity.
Jordan Chan once again is the focus as Chicken, who is vying for the vacant position of Tuen Mun against Chan Chi-Fai’s Barbarian, who is simple-minded yet has some allies both internal and external. Meanwhile, Ekin Cheng’s Ho-Nam is still reeling from the loss of his beloved Smartie, finds a somewhat new love interest in Michelle Reis’ teacher Yan Yan. However, it is clear that in what can be described as a very uncomfortable love scene that is meant to be just that, it is clear Ho-Nam is not over his loss. Chicken’s love life with Karen Mok’s Shuk-Fan continues to strive and as for Michael Tse’s Dai Tin-Yee, the film opens with Yee’s wedding to KK, who is now played by Pinky Cheung, replacing Halina Tam, who played the character in the second and third installments.
Roy Cheung returns to the fold as a new villain, Lui Yiu-Yeung. This villain is different from Crow in that he is not ruthless, but more charismatic. Yiu-Yeung is responsible for two pivotal deaths in the film and he loves two things: Mozart and seeing things, or in this case, people, fly to their deaths. He sees the flying deaths as a sort of orgasmic rush. This is truly a welcome departure from his menacing Crow in the third film. While Nam Yin, who wrote the Prison on Fire films plays another Hung Hing betrayer, Fat Lai, who holds a grudge against Nam and his boys for an incident that is seen in a flashback, which would explain why Jason Chu has two roles in this film. In the flashback, he is Chou-Pan while in the present, he is Banana Skin. Of course, as with the previous installment, an all-out showdown occurs when there is a debate between Barbarian and Chicken for the seat.
Interestingly enough, in Malaysia, the ending of this installment is completely different as a shocking revelation transpires involving our hero Chan Ho-Nam. If you are interested to see what this alternate ending is, go to HKFilm.net.
Young and Dangerous 4 is not a bad installment, but Chan Ho-Nam’s side seems to be more on the weak side with the focus clearly on Chicken. However, the film is saved by series newcomer Alex Man’s new Hung Hing leader and Roy Cheung’s charismatic villain.
WFG RATING: B-
Golden Harvest presents an Everwide (H.K.) Limited production. Director: Andrew Lau. Producer: Manfred Wong. Writer: Manfred Wong; 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, Roy Cheung, Michelle Reis, Anthony Wong, Alex Man, Karen Mok, Spencer Lam, Pinky Cheung, Chan Chi-Fai, Nam Yin,
Ken Low, Vincent Wan, Sandra Ng, Samuel Leung, Michael Lam, Frankie Ng.