2.5, Hong Kong/China

Dog Bite Dog

New York Asian Film Festival2006 / Cheang Soi > Violence for the sake of violence has become a bit of a bore lately. So, once in a while, we get a film that tries to justify its grotesque level of blood and gore as if there’s a greater meaning to it all. Sometimes it succeeds (see Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance). But as is the case with Dog Bite Dog, chances of a failure is more probable. The glue for the film are the acting feats pulled off by one of the pretty boys of Hong Kong here: Edison Chen, and the immaculate conception of dramatic skills by the usually effervescent Sam Lee in his role as a misunderstood cop hot on the trail of the aforementioned Mr. Chen.

The film is not completely without merit. The violence is gruesome, but at times you can’t help but feel for both sides of the law. The line between good and bad is not often clear, and some of the situations the characters face are surreal enough that it’s hard to put one’s self in such a position. Unfortunately, the film is plagued by an elongated ending that stretches beyond a reasonable conclusion and holds the viewer at a standstill for what is, essentially, a filler finale.