Triad Election (Hak se wui yi wo wai kwai) (2007)

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Critic Consensus: Taking its cues from the Godfather series, Triad Election understands how a giddy mix of thrills and gunplay can make for compelling cinema.

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Superstar action director Johnny To's Hong Kong gangster picture Triad Election (aka Election 2) revolves around Jimmy (Louis Koo), a second-tiered triad member vying aggressively for the position of godfather in the current election. He is restrained in his pursuits by the current mob boss, Lok (Simon Yam), who wants to hold on to his seat, despite the fact that his two years are up and he isn't officially eligible for reelection. This leads to a bloody, cutthroat, do-or-die battle of wills between the two men, carried out in some of the most astonishing set pieces ever constructed for an action opus, including a psychotic interrogation with knives and rabid dogs, a hide-and-seek battle at an outdoor café, and a shocking, ultraviolent denouement. To ads an additional level to the film by turning it into a scathing critique of the voraciousness encouraged by a laissez-faire economic system. Wong Tin-lam, Yao Yung, Lam Suet, Nick Cheung, Lam Ka-tung, and Mok Sing-lun co-star. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

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

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (24)

The film's violence erupts in rare, staccato bursts, all the more horrifying for coming out of nowhere.

Aug 24, 2007 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Boston Globe
Top Critic

If Machiavelli's The Prince and Sun Tzu's The Art of War translate to other centuries and cultures, so might Election and Triad Election.

Jul 13, 2007 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

[Director To's] talent for documentary-style realism and navigating complex political systems sets him apart, though his nationalism puts him squarely in the mainstream.

Jul 12, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The movieâ(TM)s most powerful component is political.

Jul 12, 2007 | Rating: 3/6

This remains a well-crafted genre movie, and one that promises further developments in its final scene.

Jul 6, 2007 | Rating: 3/4

Dense, demanding concentration, lacking any romantic (but plenty of sordid) violence, extremely involving and rewarding of careful attention.

Jun 21, 2007 | Full Review…

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

½

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.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

½

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.

Tsubaki Sanjuro
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

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

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

It's no surprise that director Johnny To is a fan of Francis Ford Coppola, but the influence is used wisely in the sequel to Election about an underground society maintaining a balance and order among the brotherhood. There are quite a handful of characters in the film, so some may be confused initially about the relationships between them. It definitely helps if you have caught the first film. There are a few side plots which may confuse the uninitiated, even more, but if you pay close attention to the relationships of the characters, it won't be too hard to follow along. Triad Election is not about the violence, but the slow burn leading to it. There is no hurry to get to the end, as Triad takes its time telling the story. Triad Election is a great gangster flick. Its slow pacing allows the characters to develop and the violence to remain an undertone. However, when it does happen, it's so brutal, you don't know who to root for. Photobucket

El Hombre Invisible
El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

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