Throwdown (To, 2004)

A jumbled mess of a plot, yet the film still executes beautifully on a visual level in a number of scenes, specifically a stunning slow motion fight sequence juxtaposed with the haunting singing of a mentally disturbed character during the middle of a sultry lounge act. Director Johnnie To goes for a distinct mixture of themes; redemption, fulfillment, and friendship, represented through a kind of Sports film genre approach to overcoming the odds and rejuvenating your passion for competition. However, the characters all work and live within a completely illogical and meandering environment, one designed for the greatest camera angle or tracking shot over earned emotion or arc. Throwdown represents To at his most unfocused, but it’s amazing a certain director’s least interesting work can still retain such a personal and memorable brilliance seen throughout this frustrating action film.

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