SPL: Sha Po Lang (2005) – REVIEW

by Jordache Wee

Original Mandarin Title: 殺破狼
Release Date: November 18, 2005 
Directed by: Wilson Yip
Language: Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese
Music by: Ken Chan, Chan Kwong-Wing
Starring: Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, Simon Yam, Wu Jing, Ken Chang, Danny Summer, Liu Kai-chi, Austin Wai, Vincent Sze, Lau Ching-Lam 

Hong Kong Police Detective Chan (Simon Yam) risks his career to put Triad boss Wong Po (Sammo Hung) behind bars. While escorting a witness to testify Wong Po’s guilty charges to court, the police van is rammed at high speed by a car driven by the hired assassin, Jack (Wu Jing). The wreck kills the witness and his wife, but Jack slit the witness throat to make sure he’s really dead and spares the witness’ young daughter. Detective Chan is left with a piece of glass in the back of his head. When the glass is removed, doctors notice a tumor in Detective Chan’s brain.

Crime lord Wong Po (Sammo Hung) released from prison

Ma Kwun (Donnie Yen), a detective from another precinct is assigned to lead the squad: Wah (Liu Kai-chi), Kwok (Danny Summer), and Lok (Ken Chang). They are Detective Chan’s loyal officers.

Ma Kwun (Donnie Yen) and Detective Chan (Simon Yam)

When an undercover detective is murdered, a video showing the murder surfaces,  Detective Chan and his detectives decided to alter the tape to frame Wong Po, who is caught on tape swinging a golf club repeatedly at the undercover’s face, injuring him but the assassin murdered him.

When Ma Kwun discovers the about the squad’s wrongdoing, but assists in the arrest of Wong Po, which culminates in a brawl in the lobby of a department store with the crime lord.

Wong Po's assassin, Jack (Wu Jing)

Lok tries  to buy a gun from the underworld to frame Wong Po but unknowingly that he was  trapped from inside and is brutally tortured before getting killed by the  Jack’s dagger. Wah and Kwok are  also killed by Jack. Then, Detective Chan proceeds to Wong Po’s office, only to be beaten.

Ma Kwun's baton vs. Jack's dagger

Ma Kwun had a dispute with his superiors that he hands over his badge and gun, and then goes to Wong Po’s for justice and vengeance. He  met Jack in the alley. Armed with a baton, Ma Kwun struggles in intense martial arts combat with the dagger expert. Jack wrestles the baton away but Ma Kwun manages to eviscerate Jack with his own knife.

Wong Po fights Ma Kwun

Ma Kwun reaches Wong Po’s office and challenges him into a duel. The fight ends when Ma Kwun suplexes Wong Po onto a tall display of glasses and alcohol bottles. Ma Kwun sits down at the bar and starts to pouring himself a drink. Detective Chan, still tied up starts to ask Ma Kwun to stop drinking and put him down.

Ma Kwun plunges to death from a high toss by Wong Po

Suddenly, Wong Po wakes up and grab hold of Ma Kwun, tossing him against the glass window.  Earlier, Wong Po’s wife made a call to inform him that she’s waiting below the building and he soon realizes that throwing Ma Kwun off the building was a great mistake. Ma Kwun’s body impacts the car, killing his wife and infant instantly. All three died. Wong Po slumps down onto a stool and starts sobbing, broken with grief over his actions.

In the final scene, Detective Chan and the witnesses’ daughter are seen on a beach. As the daughter is playing near the shore however, Detective Chan, passes away on the beach.

Reviewer’s Note:
An epic fight scene between Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung will blow your mind. Extreme hardcore fights which keeps you hunger for more action.

Also featuring Wushu Champion, Wu Jing as the assassin Jack in this successful debut.

An exuberant storyline about a notorious crime lord who hires an assassin to murder the witness to get away from guilty charges. But the detectives who has been tailing the case were not satisfied with the verdict that they decided to seek revenge when one of their undercover agents was murdered brutally.

A story about triad and police. Police tries to get the vengeance but they still lose. But the end fight is a result of karma.  That is why it’s called Sha Po Lang.

Sha Po Lang comes from the Chinese astrology. Sha (殺) means Seven Killings; known as Power Star, Po (破) means Army Breaker; known as Ruinous Star, and Lang (狼) means Greedy Wolf; the Flirting Star. And guess what? Karma’s a bitch that you don’t want to mess with.

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