Election (Hak se wui)


Election (Hak se wui)

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 22


Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,278
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Movie Info

A crime family flirts with democracy, leading to a fierce gangland battle in this stylish crime drama from Hong Kong director Johnnie To. With over 50,000 members, the Wo Shing Society is one of the largest and most powerful Triads in Hong Kong, and when the leadership committee needs a new head man, they decide to put the matter to a vote of their underlings. The two candidates are Lok (Simon Yam), a cool leader who doesn't rattle easily, and Big D (Tony Leung Kar-Fai), who has a short temper and is prone to violence. After Uncle Weng (Wong Tin-lam), an elderly and well-regarded member of the Triad, gives Lok his endorsement, he wins by a landslide, which does not sit well with Big D's uncertain temper. A ceremonial walking stick which is given to the Wo Shing Society's elected leader has disappeared, and Big D will stop at nothing to make sure it stays out of Lok's hands; meanwhile, the Hong Kong police are determined to bring down the Triad, and Big D ends up behind bars. The Wo Shing Society falls into chaos as in-fighting threatens to tear the Triad apart before the walking stick can be returned and Lok can be inaugurated as their new chief. Election (aka Hak Sewui) was a major box office success in Asia, and the story continued the following year in Election 2 (aka Hak se wui yi wo wai kwai).


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Critic Reviews for Election (Hak se wui)

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (3)

Audience Reviews for Election (Hak se wui)

  • Feb 05, 2012
    When it comes to movies about organised crime, people immediately think about The Godfather and Scarface because they are just memorable. Election could have been at the level of those movies, but is held back by some issues. Election is about rival gang leaders that are locked in a struggle to become the new chairman of Hong Kong's Triad society. I enjoy complexity in a movie, but my brain was really tested when in the first thirty minutes the movie just throws so much story at you that it was easy to loose to track. Thankfully I wasn't completely lost in it's story despite it throwing allot at you in the beginning. I may not know allot about the Triads works, but this movie did a great telling me about the Triads, it's social order, and has deep character development considering that movie has so many characters that it's easy to loose track of which gang members are together or rivals. For those of you expecting something like A Better Tomorrow will be disappointed, for those of you wanting a more creative approach won't be disappointed. It has a great atmosphere in this world of criminals and the camera work like in any Johnnie To is great. Johnnie To is an experts when it comes shooting scenes and it adds a sense of depth into this world. The actors are great always maintaining a great performance. Even though Election main problem may come from it's story it doesn't take away from the great work given to this movie. Election is not for everyone, the story does get complex really fast and it's easy to loose track of which characters are friends and which ones are enemies. For those who can look pass it flaws will find a great movie.
    Caesar M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 12, 2010
    I was thinking Hong Kong Triad election for new chairman, politics with guns, ho hum zzzzz, but then a) the characters of the two contenders started getting much more complex and interesting, and b) there was one beautifully timed fight scene as the two sides try to get their hands on the ceremonial baton So instead of a average three stars, it snuck up to four and now I have to watch ELECTION 2.
    Lesley N Super Reviewer
  • Mar 09, 2010
    Election is a solid Hong Kong gangster film that sets a wealth of narrative pieces in motion which should have resulted in a more satisfying experience than what it did. Unfortunately too much of it feels like wallowing ankle deep in a vast ocean, being introduced to interesting characters only to see them quickly dissolve into the background. Group motivations and allegiances are often unclear, and so basic dramatic structures fall short of the mark. In the end it feels like you were just watching an average week in the life of a Chinese triad, instead of a brutal, internal power struggle. Although, even with the who's and why's falling short of their intended mark, Election demonstrates a high level of competence by all involved that helps mask the story's failings.
    Brett W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 24, 2010
    Lesson learned while watching this epic. Never turn your back on a rival gangster..EVEN IF...a truce has been made. Bone crunching, and neck strangling ending is in store for those who watch this gangster flick. Amazingly...no guns or explosions were used....to enforce power. I seen a rock, a knife, a stick...even paint thrown in a balloon...but...no gun or explosives...check it out. This is a true treat for those who have ever wanted to know what the Triad electorial process is all about.
    Fascade F Super Reviewer

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