Definite need for speed!
Sui Cheang‘s MOTORWAY (2012) has a little bit of everything: fast cars, action and drama. The significant draw of the film is the racing scenes that highlight the “technical driving” skills of both the police officers and the criminals, executing stylistic maneuvers with a lot of skill and focus behind them. Motorway is a fun film in terms of plot and character development. The type of film you would enjoy on a lazy afternoon.
Cheung (Shawn Yue) is a rookie cop on the secret division of the Hong Kong Police Department known as the “Stealth Riders,” a team of talented drivers with an objective: track down dangerous illegal drag car racers. With the help of his veteran partner Lo (Anthony Wong), he hunts down a famed drag racer, Jiang Xin (Guo Xiaodong), who has never been captured by police. The two officers risk their personal safety to catch Xin and restore peace to the streets of Hong Kong.
Although Motorway‘s characters fall into a set of cliches–ambitious rookie cop, mentor veteran, the stoic all about business criminal etc., the role performances are brilliantly executed. Cheung is the typical rookie cop–he is extremely passionate about his job, have an absolute admiration for fast cars and driving, and does not like to be out shined criminal competition Cheung is so motivated he modified his police car with special equipment to make it go faster. Lo (Wong) is a sort of father figure to his younger colleague–making sure he does his reports on time, keeps him level headed, and advises him on his driving techniques. The story moves along smoothly. There isn’t one character that specifically stand out, however, are not boring.
The fantastic action in the film are the racing scenes, which are numerous. The intensity is not on the Fast and the Furious level, but is impressive considering Motorway was not produced by an elaborate Hollywood studio. You get to see a nice collection of stylish cars, and the film due to the blandness of the DVD quality, doesn’t clearly depict the detailed uniqueness of the vehicles. The lighting is poor in a few scenes however, the overall the presentation is visually pleasing.
Hong Kong cinema buffs and fans of the Fast and the Furious films will appreciate the work director Cheang put into Motorway. A nice addition to any “fast cars” DVD collection.
Motorway DVD special features include:
- The Making of the “Motorway” film
- Trailer Gallery
“The Making of Motorway” is a short featurette showing the work that went into creating the racing scenes, such as using camera cars to film road scenes, careful and thoughtful planning of what streets to use for maximum potential of the cars and the effort that went into each twist and turn. Cheang’s enthusiasm for creating a purely Hong Kong racing film is obvious, and his production team seems to have been just as enthusiastic in making a film that was also inspirational from a driver’s perspective. The DVD presents in a widescreen presentation. The 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio is in both Cantonese and English with optional English and Spanish subtitles.
Artwork and supplementary materials courtesy of © 2013 Lionsgate Home Entertainment. All rights reserved.