Triad Election (Hak se wui yi wo wai kwai) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ February 25, 2007
Two years have past and it is time for the next election and many of the Triad "uncles" want entrepreneur Jimmy to take over, but Lok is unwilling to release his grip on power. The sequel to Election, like The Godfather II is a continuation of the previous film and there are many parallels that can be drawn between Jimmy and Michael Corleone. Both began as relatively benign characters who did not really wish to enter the gangster fraternity, but as their situations and therefore methods become more extreme it is obvious that there are no "good guys" in this shadowy world. All the events here just reinforce the fact that for all the talk of "honour" and "tradition", it's all a flimsy facade to paper over the corruption and brutality of their actions and the election is little more than a farce. Election 2 is a beautifully crafted gangster film, with an excellent cast exploring the themes, only touched on in the original, far more fully. It seems to me that the two films are really a single whole and should probably be seen together to get the full effect. If you like the Infernal Affairs Trilogy, I'd add them to your shopping list asap.
Super Reviewer
½ April 5, 2007
Vastly superior to the first one, more focused, a better script and just more straight to the point. People are executing others, or discussing how they are going to execute them. Tradition becomes just the excuse to break said tradition, loyalty means very little in the face of money, and punishment. Boy do these men are good a punishing other human beings.

Good performances on everyone and the always sharp direction from To makes this a movie that deserves way more recognition. Also, a third part is a must.
Super Reviewer
April 13, 2009
hardcore sequel to johnny to's election, even more brutal and bloody and every bit as badass. the heir apparent to john woo and hk gangster classics, minus the sentimentality
Super Reviewer
November 16, 2008
I've heard and read a lot about how the original Election and this film are a couple of Johnny To's best works. I don't think there is any question that both of these are good movies, but Johnny To has done a bunch of other films that are better than this.This is a sequel to the first Election, but it is possible to watch this without having seen the first. Unlike other sequels where directors ignore the character background and buildup because they assume their audience has seen the previous installment, Johnny To takes the time to actually build up the characters here. This is a good and a bad thing. The good is that you get to start fresh and treat this as a standalone film, but the bad is that it takes the film a little while to get going.The story deals with 2 men running to become the chairperson of the triad society. Hence "Election." The first half of the film is all story and character buildup and while it does have some of Johnny To's good directing and camerawork, it still isn't anything special. It isn't until the 45 minute mark where the story really gets going. This is where the vintage Johnny To kicks in.Similar to the first Election, the action is non-existent. There is violence, but there are no gang shootouts or anything like that. This movie is all character and story driven.The popular Simon Yam is a little disappointing. It isn't because his acting sucks. It is because, for the character that he plays, he gets too little airtime. All the airtime goes to Louis Koo, which is not a bad thing. Nick Cheung, Mark Cheng, and Ka Tung Lam round out the good supporting cast.When all is said and done, if you like the first Election, you will like this one.
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2007
the first one had strategizing, this one has suspense; it's shot like a Hitchcock movie with gangsters, the violence like the characters' bad dreams
Super Reviewer
September 4, 2007
Is this a sequel?? Sequels have a reputation for being a bit undone after their predecessors, but in true Godfather fashion, instead this is a marvelous continuation of the story, a sequel worthy of the first.

Two years have passed, and a new election is looming. Jimmy Lee (Louis Koo) is the Wo Shing's top earner, giving him the respect and power due to his business savvy and idealism. But deep down, Jimmy just wants to live his life, and move away from the Triad society. But Chinese Intelligence and a few Triad veterans have other plans for Jimmy, believing he is next in line to lead the Wo Shing, despite his protests.

Lok (Simon Yam) returns and seeks an historic second term as Chairman, his cunning and devious mind begins to play politics amongst the groups, and soon engages in war with Jimmy as the fight and blood spills onto the streets of Hong Kong.

This is more bloody, brutal, and it sure does let your imagination run wild as the violence is sure to leave a even the most hardened and desensitized movie goer a little shaken..... the movie does move quicker than the original, but thats due to the fact the the introduction has been told in Election, and Election 2 delves deeper into the emotions and feelings of the central characters and increases the tensions and violence to a new level.

The original cast (minus Tony Leung Ka Fi - tis a shame) return and it feels like old home week - by this point if you really enjoyed Election, it would be like seeing familiar faces and persons again. This movie is essentially Louis Koo's flick, taking the major role, though Simon Yam did take a step back, he played it out well, his screen time mixed with power games and his troubled relationship with his son, while Jimmy tries to balance his business and social life with his newly married wife, while trying to maintain his status and power within the Triad.

Its an all out blood fest, and as they say, only the strong survive. But this one goes far deeper than just criminal politics....

Music score, camera and directing work all top notch, nothing strays from the quality of the first movie.

I guess the only criticism is maybe the movie was a bit too short, it could have been drawn out a bit more, and cold have had more tension and be a bit more gripping like the first. I think the action scenes replaced some of the drama and tension, and that kinda lets it down.

Yes, worth watching!! Winner of Best Film - Hong Kong Film Critics Awards, Official selection in the various prestigious film festivals, and nominations all around.

But other than that, a definite sequel worth watching!!
Super Reviewer
½ March 21, 2012
Sequels usually aren't as good or surpass the original in anyway. This is one of those few exception in which the sequel is superior over the original.

Triad Election is about the current Triad chairman Lok faces competition from his godsons while at the same time, Jimmy looks to increase his business relations with mainland China. The story is not as complex as the original meaning it's easier to follow and has its own appeal to it. Now my main problem with this movie is that there are too many characters and some of them don't have enough screen time. This is proven by the fact that I was shock that Lok son was actually in this movie and leaves allot to be desire in other story-lines too. What I do liked about the original was it realism and that each character had there own personality, the same is true here. Now while the story of the movie isn't exactly something everyone can get into, it's brilliant take on the Triads.

Unlike most sequels, this movie requires you to watch the original or else you won't know anything about these characters history and at certain scenes you won't know what they're talking about. The cast from the original return and once again deliver another winning performance. If you've seen allot of Johnnie To movie like I have you already what to expect from the cast and have a good idea who they are. Johnnie To is still impressive behind the camera, though not at the same scope as the original, he does great job as always.

Triad Election is a sequel that surpasses the original every way possible. Triad Election is another great drama from director Johnnie To and proves the action genre isn't the only area he can tell a gripping story.
Super Reviewer
March 19, 2008
[font=Century Gothic]In "Triad Election," Lok(Simon Yam) has been chairman of the Wo Sing Society for the past two years and a new election is coming up. His first choice for new chairman, Jimmy(Louis Koo), is the society's highest earner, mostly through pirate DVD's, but he is hesitant about taking the reins. Another associate, Kun(Lam Ka Tung), wants a shot, but he has little support. Jimmy also wants to go straight, looking to make a clean break as a businessman but a huge deal in China goes south. When Jimmy is told that a government official will only deal with a chairman, he changes his mind and throws his hat in the ring. But he may have stiff competition when Lok announces his intention to go against tradition and run for another term...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Triad Election" builds on the momentum of its predecessor, "Election," and effectively brings off a very strong finish. This time around, the main focus is on power and what it costs, not only to obtain it, but in trying to hold on to it. It is telling that Lok is in danger of his son falling in with a gang, possibly losing him not only figuratively, but literally. And Jimmy learns the very harsh reality that he is not above the fray and that there is always a very high price for success, no matter how legitimate he may appear on the surface. [/font]
Super Reviewer
October 5, 2008
Second part of the ambitious 20th century majesty of To,a humongous presumption of events occurs 2 years later.Triads are coming to an end (fictional that is,hehe).What better way to celebrate it by swaying in a brilliant choreography of little scenarios and exceptional violence?The heir of Woo rest assure all of you directs the mob in all its fiendish glory,in spite of it being minor to the first part.
Super Reviewer
February 24, 2010
Not one of Johnny To's finest, but a fine sequel to 'Election'. Koo puts forth a quiet performance, and there is a dramatic intensity almost running silently throughout the entire film, erupting toward the end. Still, minimum but effective violence. If you like this, see 'Exilled'
Super Reviewer
March 20, 2008
Not just another gangster movie, but a glimpse into the Triad culture.
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2007
An almost perfect sequel to Election. Since the first movie sets up what the election is about, this one dives deeper into the characters and relationships as well as being more brutal.

After his two years of Chairman Lok (Yam) wants to break tradition and serve a second term. While the elders want to elect Jimmy (Koo) since he has shown he has a good business sense as well as gained respect from many.

Lok the godfather of Jimmy are now in war against each other and will do whatever it takes. Lok wanting to for greed and power, Jimmy doesn't, but is forced to based on a catch-22, even though he wants out to build a future for his family.

To completes his mob epic and looks to have learned from the Godfather by not forcing a trilogy out of it. Set with an amazing musical score and acting, Triad Election draws the saga to a just close with a memorable ending.

Only complaint is for the war being pretty much between the two, I wish they would have focused on what was going on with Lok and his son a little more. I know this movie was more about Jimmy as the end of the first hinted at; just would have made the story little more complete.
Super Reviewer
January 28, 2007
As good as the first one. Johnnie To is one of the best directors working today.
½ November 1, 2013
"Triad Election" takes viewers deep into a ritualized world of the Triad Society crime organization which is full of betrayal, backstabbing, and power-grabbing moves for power. The movie contains complex characters, scheming political machinations, and explosive action sequences that creates balance against Jonnie To's unique directorial style and subversive plot twists. "Triad" is the sequel to the wildly successful "Election" (2005), which earned a number of awards and nominations including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Screenplay at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 2006. The "Triad" storyline expounds from its predecessor with a political subtext: the candidates here, elegantly played by Koo and Yam, are not only trapped by their own lust of power or wealth, but also by the mainland Chinese government's omniscient influence. To merges an intelligent screenplay with the hardball tactics of the Hong Kong underworld which contains political undertones and transcends an otherwise conventional crime drama storyline.

The slow burn caper maintains a business-like atmosphere, while its general sense of tranquility is interrupted with sudden bursts of intense violence. Noticeably absent is the trademark two-fisted gun play, sunglasses, and highly stylized action sequences so prevalent in Woo's films. To underplays the spectacle of violence -- he's more interested in the how the escalation reveals the character of the candidates. The majority of "Triad Election" is about the political maneuvering of organized crime, but when the conversations end, make no mistake, the blood flows mightily. "Triad Election" strongly resembles "The Godfather Part II" (1974), but it's resolutely a Chinese story, reaching back to the origins of Hong Kong crime syndicates, and showing how they struggle to keep a foothold in a modernized world. There are great modern crime movies out there -- Michael Mann's "Heat" (1995), Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas" (1990), and Andrew Lau and Alan Mak's "Infernal Affairs" trilogy. "Triad Election" unquestionably belongs with such illustrious company.
½ July 16, 2009
Deeper and denser than the first one Election (2005), although they are supposed to be watched together as one film. Johnnie To describes the relationship between Hong Kong and the mainland China through the mafia world. It is also a pure gangster movie - as its original Chinese title "Black Society" suggests, it is about gangster society and its tradition that once you get in, you never will get out of it no matter how hard you try... Louis Koo does a great job as the hero in this one, while Simon Yam, who played the hero in the first one, gracefully and professionally plays the supporting role, the chairman who destroys his life because of his greed.
May 29, 2011
good gangster movie than instead focus on not the violence n guns but rather rituals n customs of the triad.
February 15, 2009
I think I was expecting something scores more dramatic but this is a solid Triad film. Louis Koo is so handsome, I'm glad he was in this and that he's still working.
½ November 21, 2008
People rave over the first one, and I thought it was only ok. This one, was supremely better. A tighter story and arc that can be felt deeply from beginning to end while the first really didn't bring that emotion in till the end. It is a stunner of a movie with hugely impactful scenes and an amazing one-take(?) death scene. It really is the best of its genre I saw since Infernal Affairs. Almost as good.
April 17, 2008
Yet another film by Johnnie To. I liked it, but it wasn't all people made it out to be. A good triad flick that's worth at least one run through.
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