Election (Hak se wui)
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A crime family flirts with democracy, leading to a fierce gangland battle in this stylish crime drama from Hong Kong director Johnnie To. With over 50,000 members, the Wo Shing Society is one of the largest and most powerful Triads in Hong Kong, and when the leadership committee needs a new head man, they decide to put the matter to a vote of their underlings. The two candidates are Lok (Simon Yam), a cool leader who doesn't rattle easily, and Big D (Tony Leung Kar-Fai), who has a short temper and is prone to violence. After Uncle Weng (Wong Tin-lam), an elderly and well-regarded member of… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film's violence erupts in rare, staccato bursts, all the more horrifying for coming out of nowhere."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"Dense, demanding concentration, lacking any romantic (but plenty of sordid) violence, extremely involving and rewarding of careful attention."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Washington Post
"The film's main drive involves plotting and scheming rather than outright violence, though -- unlike the sequel -- the basic good guy-bad guy conflict is pretty standard."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"It's a thrilling premise. What a shame, then, that Election can't get the basics right."
‑ David Mattin, BBC.com
"It's easy to see why a sequel was quickly cranked out."
‑ Jon Popick, Planet Sick-Boy
"Election feels routine at times, though less formulaic than other genre exercises from Hong Kong. The depiction of crime customs is sociologically detailed."
‑ Bill Stamets, Chicago Sun-Times
"Ultimately, Election and Triad Election -- which benefit from being seen back to back -- play like a mature reevaluation of [Johnnie] To's long-standing talent for splashy, eye-popping violence."
‑ Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
"Some real genius and understated power . . . transcends its genre and turns the venally criminal into the profoundly human."
‑ Brian Gibson, Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
"We are plunged into this dispute, but with insufficient time to get to know any of these players, they never fully come to life."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"May feel a little aloof and dry, not to mention confusing, but there's a solid resonance within the story."
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"[Director To's] talent for documentary-style realism and navigating complex political systems sets him apart, though his nationalism puts him squarely in the mainstream."
‑ Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune
"Reveals [director] To as a master of lean, close-quarters action."
‑ Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly
"has more hits than misses"
‑ Don Willmott, Filmcritic.com
"To's double shot is a landmark work for HK cinema."
‑ Jason Anderson, eye WEEKLY
More reviews for Election (Hak se wui) on Rotten Tomatoes

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