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“I Did It My Way” Movie Review, Live Streaming & Download

I did it my way 2023 (via Primetweets)

You might enjoy the Hong Kong undercover cop drama “I Did It My Way” if you approach it with well-adjusted expectations. It’s not a hard movie to like, given its well-polished action filmmaking and strong ensemble cast, led by co-stars Andy Lau and Gordon Lam, and featuring beloved character actors like Kent Cheng, Lam Suet, and Simon Yam. “I Did It My Way” exemplifies the current state of mass-oriented Hong Kong genre cinema, leaning hard on its seasoned cast to both remind viewers of better movies and carry this one around the bases fast enough that you still get your money’s worth.

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Like a few other contemporary Hong Kong policers, “I Did It My Way” pits sweat-soaked Hong Kong cops against a respectable-looking crook and his vast criminal organization. Lau plays the crook, George Lam, a taciturn barrister who’s suspected of dealing all kinds of drugs on the “dark web.” George peddles Super Molly and other illegal substances under the watchful eyes of Officer Fong Hing (Eddie Peng), the baby-faced Super-Intendent of the Hong Kong police’s cyber-crimes unit. Fong’s determined to stop the drugs, but his secret weapon is actually a double agent: Sau Ho, Lam’s all-purpose “cleaner,” played by Gordon Lam.

The melodramatic stakes are set high enough in some ancillary scenes, like when George Lam asks his pregnant wife Vivian (Yase Liu) to marry him. “I’ll think about it,” she says. These brief moments don’t change how conventional the rest of the plot tends to be, between Sau Ho’s unclear motivation—he either wants to emigrate with his family, or to beat Lam and remain a cop (first choice)—and the ultimate fate of Vivian’s pregnancy.

“I Did It My Way” helmer Jason Kwan doesn’t always focus on his actors; more often than not he’s advancing a formulaic cops-and-crooks plot. Still, Kwan (co-director of both “Chasing the Dragon” and its in-name-only sequel) delivers a superior programmer whenever he slows down long enough to highlight Lau and Lam’s work. As Sau Ho, the prolific Lam nails suggests a lot with his usual hyper-tense physicality. Lau still sweeps him and everyone else off the screen, whether he’s smiling broadly at the cops, brooding quietly in his car, or texting his guys to “eliminate” various enemies. Lau single-handedly knocks the movie into a higher gear when Lam snarls, “Let’s see if you can escape” from behind the wheel of his Rolls Royce and prepares to run over Sau Ho and his family.

Then again, the best scene in “I Did It My Way” doesn’t feature Lau at all. Peng’s stern superintendent briefly grabs the spotlight long enough to rescue Sau Ho from a young-ish looking killer. Fong valiantly body-slams through various plates of glass and shelves of bottles in a private wine cellar. It might be the first great action scene of year, and while anybody could’ve filled Fong’s shoes, Peng commits at least as much as the adrenalized scene requires.

“I Did It My Way” may still leave you wanting more if you don’t want to adjust your expectations so much. Maybe you expect more from a movie that features several supporting cast members who can and sometimes did out-do Lau in their earlier collaborations. Like, why isn’t there more of Simon Yam, who plays a constipated-looking cop, and mostly leans on empty chairs and/or puts his hands on his hips? And what’s the deal with Super Molly, a synthetic drug that’s apparently too strong for its users, as we see in a to-the-bone cutaway scene? Any way you slice it, you’ll likely forget most of “I Did It My Way” soon after watching it; there’s only so much to see between dark web hacking and police raid shoot-outs.

Lau’s the biggest draw here, which simultaneously is and isn’t surprising. When I asked for this review assignment, I predicted that Kwan would get a great character actor performance from whoever plays the movie’s villain, just like he and co-director Wong Jing did with Donnie Yen in “Chasing the Dragon,” a superior recent Hong Kong crime drama, and Tony Leung Ka Fai in “Chasing the Dragon II: The Wild Bunch.” I didn’t expect Lau to be the one in “I Did It My Way,” though he’s defied narrow expectations for decades now, especially in his collaborations with great Hong Kong filmmakers like Ann Hui and Johnnie To.

A real star, Lau has taught himself how to do a lot with a little. It shows whenever Lam placidly smiles at his enemies, or when he tells a glowering Peng to “nail me if you have the evidence.” You might even feel scared for tough-looking Sau Ho when Lau, in character, stares him down and says: “You’ve seen something that you shouldn’t have.” That’s acting, baby. 

 

I Did It My Way movie poster

I Did It My Way (2024)

115 minutes

Cast

Andy Lauas George Lam

Lam Ka-tungas 修浩

Eddie Pengas Eddie

Liu Yaseas Vivian

Simon Yamas 钟锦明

Lam Suet

Kent Cheng Jak-Si

Philip Keung Ho-Manas 陈潮生

Hedwig Tam Sin-Yinas Maggie

Kevin Chuas 阿南

Terrance Lauas Davis

Director

  • Jason Kwan

Writer

  • Qinghua Xie
  • Yafei Zhao

“I Did It My Way” Movie Review, Live Streaming & Download Movie Review, Live Streaming & Download

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