Sunday, 22 September 2013

Breaking News

Breaking News (2004), is an action thriller from Hong Kong which was released in 2004. It was directed by one of the most celebrated directors in Hong Kong, Johnnie To. Chang Hing-Kai and Yip Tin Shing wrote the screenplay. It stars Nick Cheung as Inspector Cheung, Richie Jen as Yuen, Kelly Chen as Superintendent Rebecca Fong and Simon Yam as Asst. Commissioner Wong.  

The movie deals with the opinion molding power of media in today's world. It shows how media can corrupt some person or an organization's image and at the same time be effective in instilling hope and goodwill among the people too.

It is one of those few action films which successfully manage to blend action and sensible content together in order to give the viewer something to be amazed by and think upon.

The way in which the start of the movie has been shot is amazing. It starts with a shootout and a failed attempt by the Hong Kong police department in capturing Yuen and his gang. The police officers who operate this mission are badly defeated. While Yuen is running away, he encounters a police officer whom he overpowers. The timid police officer joins his hands and begs for his life. To the police department's bad luck, the media is present at that moment and the photographs of a police officer kneeling and begging before the criminal are circulated. This tarnishes the image of the police department. People start to lose their faith in the department.

The Police Department takes various measures to cover up for this embarrassing defeat. Superintendent Rebecca Fong, suggests that since their image was tarnished by the media, it should be through the media only that they improve it again. The department agrees. We are also introduced to Inspector Cheung and his crew who have been assigned to capture Yuen and his gang. After the police are able to track down the location of Yuen, the real action starts.  

Rebecca ensures that the media is present to shoot the whole event live, the event as in the capture of Yuen by the police department. Since it was Yuen who forced a cop down on his knees in that infamous embarrassing photograph, it is hoped that by arresting him on camera, the police can improve their image. And thus a 'bloody' reality show starts. 

Yuen gets a hold of this and he too plays it smartly. Various events are ensured by both the parties, the cops outside the building and criminals inside holding hostages, to somehow use and manipulate the media present on site. And for the media people its a day in heaven with so much of action and scoop around.

The movie progresses ahead with a pace that is sure to blow you off completely. The action, dialogues, etc are very well executed. The story itself is so heavy and good.

The movie currently holds a fresh rating of 76% on Rotten Tomatoes. This movie was remade in Russia titled Goryachie Novosti (international title: Newsmakers). Talks of its remake in the United States are up with the possibility of Joel Schumacher directing it.

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