Set to Kill
Hong Kong 2005
Directed by Marco Mak.

A thriller with more twists and turns than your own intestines. But its set up that way pretty much from the beginning, which creates a certain emotional detachment in the viewer: we already suspect nothing we are told will end up being entirely true, therefore, we never really care what happens.

SET TO KILL is about the president of a bank, (Johnny Lu) and one of his employees, who is also engaged to be his wife (Ning Jing). She uncovers the fact that the bank is laundering money for the triads, and soon, people start dying. Her honeybunch -- or is he really? -- gets her a bunch of bodyguards -- or are they really? -- to protect her innocent -- or not -- little self. They are aided -- or are they? -- by the retired -- or is he? -- triad boss "Uncle Ghost" and -- oh, nevermind. I don't care. And after the twentieth quintuple-cross, you won't either.

But wait! There are a couple pretty entertaining bodyguard/triad shoot-outs. And the B-level cast is fun, in spite of the overdone material. Ning Jing as the damsel-in-distress is the standout, though for some unexplained reason she has a shaved head and just wears wigs. We see her without the wig once and I thought they might go for that tougher look toward the end of the film, but they don't. Maybe she shaved her head for some other role and they just worked it in. Raymond Wong, Isabel Chan, and Carl Ng also appear, as does Ng Ting-Yip, as a melon-seed chomping bad-ass bodyguard and the most fun to watch.

[And here's a near-SPOILER question for those who have already watched SET TO KILL -- is it just me, or did you also expect the two at the end to begin furiously making out? How disappointing that they did not.]

Rating: Marginally Recommended (Marginally Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on September 08, 2007.

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