Hyprnotism, car chases, shootouts and melodrama are the main elements of Heroic Duo a good Hong Kong action drama.
The film, directed by Benny Chan, is about a cop named Ken Li (Ekin Cheng) who seeks the help of a former police psychologist and hynotist named Jack Lai (Leon Lai) who is behind bars for committing a crime for a mastermind hynotist nicknamed the mindhunter (Francis Ng)
Ken uses Jack to help solve a crime but in the process Jack hynotizes Ken who then steals some jewels from a safe. Jack disappears with the jewels and in turn Ken is on the run from the other cops while Ken goes off to give the jewels to the mindhunter who has kidnapped his wife.
Somewhat convoluted, the film has some well staged action scenes and an interesting bonding between the cop and the criminal that makes it all work.
Their bond in part is based on necessity but too they share an emotional bond. Ken is dealing with the demons of his past in which a young woman was drowned - which we see in elliptical flashbacks. He too won't commit to his current girlfriend - a police officer who has stuck with him for a long time. Jack, on the other hand, has to deal with the kidnapping of his wife and it's obvious that his love for her is quite strong. So much so that Ken has admiration - and perhaps envy - for the love he is unable to show.
Heroic Duo is nothing original and in some ways is similar to a better Japanese film titled Cure that too is about a hypnotist criminal and a cop who tries to keep from being hynotizes. Where Cure is a comic book that becomes a psychological drama Heroic Duo is a drama that becomes comic book.
Having seen a good many Hong Kong films in the past I would say this one is not among the best but it does have a high production value. It also mixes drama and action quite well without being ridiculous. Although the ending is a bit over-the-top. Overall an above average entertainment.
Presented in NTSC with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 anamorphic. The image is good but seems to have been duped off of another DVD. There is slight pixilation. Otherwise the color saturation is good. For some reason too there is a white line across the top left of the letterbox mask that is annoying. I'm not sure if this is on all the DVD's but if so it is an error that Tartan should have caught.
Audio Formats are DTS 5.1 Surround , Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround. The language is in Cantonese.
First up is a 8 minute interview with Benny Chan, which is pretty standard. Benny basically goes over the themes of the film and some of the scenes. Next is a 3 minute interview with action director Stephen Tung that's good because it shows some of the work that went into the action scenes. It's a bit too short. There is also a seven minute production featurette with behind the scenes footage that is good because it shows the stunts - especially one they do on a ladder that spans across two buildings. This featurette also has interviews with the main actors.
Heroic Duo is a good Hong Kong action drama with an interesting premise. Well directed and acted the film becomes a bit predictable but still manages to hold interest. The DVD looks and sounds good.