Savage (2019)

Directed By: Cui Siwei

Starring: Chang Chen, Ni Ni, Liao Fan, Huang Jue, Liu Hua, Zhang Yicong, Li Guangjie

Synopsis: Buried by treacherous conditions at the top of Mt. Baekdu, a policeman must brave the extreme weather until his transfer comes through. When a group of thieves stumbles into the station in search of safe shelter, both sides must fight for survival in this stylish action-packed thriller.

Review: SAVAGE is the first feature length title by acclaimed Chinese writer Cui Siwei. Cui first broke through as a notable film writer with his work in the 2009 black comedy CRAZY RACER, the second film in the
established director Ning Hao’s “Crazy” franchise. Ning and Cui reteamed four years later for the Golden Bear shortlisted film NO MAN’S LAND.

Cui Siwei brings the goods and more, this movie is a very stylish action thriller. The movie focuses on Detective Kanghoa who is posted to a small populated town in the mountains. Kanghoa witnesses his partner being killed by a trio of criminals. These criminals have already rammed an armoured truck off the road, the truck was loaded with gold. After these events Kanghoa is hell bent on revenge on the three men that killed his partner. His chance comes around when the trio returns to move the gold before a blizzard hits.

The story itself is one that will keep you on the edge of your set, no-one is super human, not even our lead hero. Which makes you root for him even more.

The opening heist of the gold is spectacular. The trio of thieves hurdle logs down the side of a mountain straight at the armoured truck on a narrow icy road, sending the vehicle plummeting over the edge. Another favourite scene of mine is when Kanghoa is hunting or being hunted by one of the trio in a open long grassed plain, visibility is very low as the blizzard is setting in and through out the whole scene your left very tense and suspenseful.

It seems Cui Siwei used some old western movies as potential influence for the movie, along with a hint of Charles Bronsons Death Hunt. If this movie was made in 70’s/80’s I could see top billing being Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson.

With plenty of twists, betrayals, shootings, brutal fist fights and some tense cat and mouse moments, this movie is not to be missed. It has great characters, amazing set pieces, first class special effects and a gripping story. Definitely a must see movie!!

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