12 July 2017

ELITE FORCE: OPERATION MEKONG. (2017) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.



ELITE FORCE: OPERATION MEKONG. (2017) DIRECTED BY DANTE LAM. ACTION DIRECTOR: TUNG WAI. STARRING EDDIE PENG, ZHANG HENYU, KEN LO AND PAWARITH MONKOLPISIT. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Explosive Action Thrills… Better than Jason Bourne” - Kung-Fu Kingdom ✮✮✮✮ “outrageous gunplay, edge-of-your-seat car chases, and masterful pacing” - IrishFilmCritic ✮✮✮✮ “one of the most exhilarating movies of the year… spectacularly real and thrilling action” - MovieXclusive ✮✮✮✮ “expertly executed action glory” – Blood Brothers “Breathlessly Assaulting, Vastly Entertaining.” – Variety

This is an action adventure and a half, based on true events and so jam-packed with dangerous stunts and mind-blowing shenanigans that watching it will leave you positively breathless. Not to mention feckin' exhausted, haha.

Apparently the cast and crew wore bullet-proof vests while filming this and the director and his team travelled to the Golden Triangle region in person to get a feel for the place. That's the kind of thing I like to hear. Adds a bit of authenticity to the whole thing although, as the film is based on true-life events, it was always gonna be pretty authentic anyway.

The story is kind of complicated but I've managed to boil it down to a few bite-sized sentences for ease of reading. An elite team, the titular Elite Force, are given the unpleasant and difficult job of taking down a really mean international drug-lord called Naw Khar, who operates out of an area of China called the Golden Triangle on the Mekong River.

I'm not sure but I think the Golden Triangle might also be where Burma, Thailand and Laos interlap (they definitely get a mention, anyway), but don't quote me on that because my geographical knowledge of that whole area is sketchy, to say the least. Blame my geography teacher. She did almost nothing to make her subject interesting to our tiny minds. 'The rivers and mountains of Ireland' was about as much as I assimilated, haha.

The main members of the team are as follows. There's the handsome Gao Gang, whose wife sadly left him and took their kiddie with her, a little girl whom he's always texting, 'cause this is the modern era, see, and people can do stuff like that.

His partner in this huge venture of taking down China's answer to Tony Montana, and cleaning up the Mekong River of drug-dealers while they're at it, is another handsome chap called Fang Xinwu. He's an intelligence officer and undercover specialist, not to mention a cunning master of disguise.

Yes, sometimes Fang Xinwu wears a moustache-and-designer-beard combo which makes him look a bit like Johnny Depp, and sometimes... he doesn't. The difference in him then would take the sight out of your eyes, it's such a startling contrast, haha.

Fang Xinwu has a sad back-story too. His beautiful girlfriend died a horrible drug-related death (probably down to Naw Khar, that), and so he has a very personal reason for wanting to shake that naughty drug-lord out of his comfortable tree. And he has every excuse to say: 'And, this time, it's personal...' as well. Well, he has...!

The two guys work well together. The 'selfie' moment between them, when they take a picture of themselves for Gao Gang's little girl, is just so sweet. But enough of the humans. There's a third member of this crack team of narcotics officers whom I'd like you guys to meet now.

Allow me to introduce, if you will, Officer Bingo, the woofiest, ruffiest and tail-waggingest recruit on the force. He's an absolutely darling Alsatian doggie and so brave, if you guys could only see how brave he is and how talented he is at sniffing out criminals and bringing them to justice! He's just adorable. I don't want to give out any spoilers but, for God's sake, have your hankies ready at the end. You'll need 'em...

The drug-lord Naw Khar is a nasty piece of work, a right head-case who gets high on his own supply, just like Tony Montana. The film reminded me a bit of the movie SCARFACE, in
fact, especially the bit at the end where the Colombians (I think it's them, anyway!) are over-running Tony's compound and he's as high as a kite, getting ready to utter the immortal words: 'Say hello to my leetle friend...!' before getting blasted to Kingdom Come by that quiet guy who doesn't say anything but who just keeps coming... and coming... and coming...

The film reminded me of BLOW as well, in which the aforementioned Johnny Depp plays infamous drug-dealer George Jung. Of course, very few films about drugs can aspire to the level of glamour attained in both SCARFACE and even BLOW, with both Michelle Pfeiffer and Penelope Cruz swanning around being fabulously gorgeous and addicted to the drugs their fellas flog, but ELITE FORCE: OPERATION MEKONG is still a great watch. Could have used a glamorous sex bomb of a femme fatale, though, to counteract all the terrifically intense and male-dominated action scenes.

The bit where the lads (including darling Officer Bingo, of course!) are all piling into the waiting helicopters for the final mission- taking Naw Khar and his men alive, if possible- is super-exciting and tense. The terrain is tough and the mission is dangerous. Some of them may be returned to their loved ones in body-bags. It's all to play for...

Life is frighteningly cheap in these parts. The scenes where little kids are seen taking drugs, firing guns, throwing bombs and playing Russian Roulette with real loaded guns are deeply disturbing but there's no doubt that it happens in real life. Isn't that a scary thought?

I loved the scenes in the shopping mall where the cops were pretending to want to buy drugs off the baddies and then the baddies found out that they were being duped and then they... Well, no spoilers here, haha. You'll find out everything when you watch the movie for yourselves. 

ELITE FORCE: OPERATION MEKONG is possibly the fastest-moving and most action-packed film I've ever seen, bar none. I mean, bar none. It's so fast-moving I had great difficulty initially working out who was shooting whom and why, but you get into it after a while and then it's just t'riffic, I mean, like, really t'riffic.

Before I leave you with a few essential little promotional details, I want you guys to join me in a wee song.

'There was a man who had a dog and Bingo was his name-o! B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O-'

No, I can't do it. I'm too sad...

CINE ASIA PRESENTS: ELITE FORCE: OPERATION MEKONG THE ULTIMATE TAKEDOWN OF A DRUG EMPIRE AVAILABLE ON DVD JULY 17th, EARLY VOD FROM JULY 3rd.
Cine Asia presents Elite Force: Operation Mekong out now on VOD and
DVD 17th July 2017

Amazon http://amzn.eu/gYcFtO5
iTunes http://apple.co/2tRNs1U

Hotly anticipated, Cine Asia is thrilled to present its next release - Dante Lam’s action extravaganza, Elite Force - Operation Mekong. The film is one of China’s all-time highest grossing films (over 170 million USD). Tung Wai was awarded Best Action Choreography for the film at the Hong Kong Film Awards 2017. Starring one of Asia’s top rising action stars Eddie Peng (Call of Heroes, Rise of The Legend), and Hanyu Zhang (Assembly, The Great Wall), Elite Force - Operation Mekong pays tribute to '80s Classics like Rambo with an assaultive two hours of adrenaline-pumped action.

ABOUT CINE ASIA Cine Asia, founded in 2007, is recognised as the premium film label for martial arts and Asian action cinema in the UK. Leading the way in bringing Asia’s most iconic action stars to audiences, Cine Asia strives to pay homage to both the films and the fans. Consistently delivering high quality and expansive UK releases, Trinity Films and its
Cine Asia label look forward to introducing audiences to great new content ahead of its 10-year anniversary in 2017.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

 You can contact Sandra at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com










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