The Last Blood (HK 1991)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 7/25/99
Alternate Titles: 12 Hours Of Terror, Hard-Boiled 2
Producer: Eric Tsang
Director: Wong Jing
Cast: Alan Tam, Andy Lau, Leung Ka-Yan, Eric Tsang

Sigh. Like so many Wong Jing films, this could have been a decent and exciting action film if all of the stupid humor and bad dialogue had been left out. Yet somehow, he always manages to create good looking and well made films populated with big stars and beautiful women. What gives? In this film, Wong Jing pokes fun at John Woo by delivering a stylish and ultraviolent tale that's completely devoid of any depth or personality. The Daka Lama travels to Singapore and is targeted by the villainous Red Army. Small time gangster Andy Lau and his girlfriend are lucky enough to get caught in the crossfire, and now both the Daka Lama and Lau's girlfriend need a blood transfusion with the extremely rare "P" type blood. Hong Kong police officers Alan Tam and Leung Ka-Yan (didn't even recognize him!) are in charge of rounding up donors, but the Red Army is one step ahead of them and kills all but one of the donors. (question: why can't you use blood from a dead person?) The one surviving donor is a bumbling con-artist (Eric Tsang), and most of the film revolves around the heroes trying to stay alive and keep up with his antics. He finally gives in and decides to help after his family and friends are murdered by the bad guys, which is just in time to save the two ailing patients. The action scenes and stuntwork in the film are quite nice and there are even a few nicely realized "girls with guns" moments. Unfortunately, these are often tempered with that patented Wong Jing goofiness that just leaves a bad taste in your mouth. It's interesting to see pop idol Alan Tam in a serious role, and he's slick and ultra-cool. Pop idol Andy Lau, on the other hand, is once again relegated to a silly sidekick role and doesn't get to do much of anything except look handsome and deliver embarrassingly bad dialogue.

Not surprisingly, the folks at Eastern Heroes have repackaged and marketed this film as "Hard-Boiled 2." Maybe because the final shootout takes place at a hospital? Or maybe just because it has a bunch of guys shooting at each other. Who knows?