PTU | Chicago Reader

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After a detour into comedy, Hong Kong director Johnnie To (The Mission) returns to crime with this distinctive police procedural (2003) that transpires in a single night, its visual palette established in a striking first shot of a neon rainbow through the wire mesh of a police van's window. Simon Yam is the ruthless leader of a police tactical unit, which goes into overdrive after gangsters assault a thuggish detective (Suet Lam) and steal his gun. In a startling set piece, one of the killers is stabbed but commandeers a taxi with the knife stuck through his torso; his eventual death sets off even more violence as the cops, harassed by an officious superior (Ruby Yang), try to control the chaos. In Cantonese with subtitles. 85 min.

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