Director - Wong Jing
High Risk (1995)
DVD Released by : Universe
Player reviewed with : Malata DVD-N996
Receiver reviewed with : Sony 925


Dolby Digital Mono
Chinese and English Subtitles
Cantonese and Mandarin Soundtracks
Running Time - 100 min.

HIGH RISK stars Jet Li and Jackie Cheung in this action/comedy. Jackie Cheung is part Jackie Chan, part Bruce Lee. It is built up that he always does his own stunts but in reality he is slipping and it is Jet Li who finishes the stunts. It's not to say Jackie Cheung's character doesn't have the talent, he just lost it. Jet Li is Jackie's double/bodyguard, a former policeman who suffered the fate of having his wife and child die in front of him from a bomb he could diffuse. This was done by someone calling himself The Doctor. Now, Jet is hired to protect Jackie's image as well as be his bodyguard. While filming a stunt, a reporter (Chingmy Yau) films Jackie and Jet trading places and plans to expose everything ratings. Fate brings all the characters together for a jewel exhibition in a high rise. It is up to Jackie and Jet to save the day when The Doctor returns to steal the jewels.

I enjoyed this movie. Jackie Cheung's character is great. It's an obvious take on Jackie Chan but I found it funny how much he is also like Bruce Lee. It seems all the bad guys want to see if he really is as good as he is in the movies. This reminds me of an interview I once read with Chuck Norris where he said that the only way Bruce Lee could beat him would be in a movie. I guess the bad guys felt the same way!

Jet is also excellent in this one. His fights are equal parts guns and Kung Fu in this movie. This movie actually has characters run out of bullets! It adds a little more reality to things. One of Jet's best fights has him beating a guy up with a pole lamp.

The picture quality is good. The print that is used is relatively free of specks and has very little damage. The only complaint is that the subtitles are burned in the print. The transfer itself is decent, I didn't notice any artifacts and the dark scenes looked good without any breaking up of the picture. The picture is about average with other import DVD's.

The sound is in mono and is mixed well. The dialogue is never drowned out by the music and sound effects. I am glad that a bad 5.1 remix wasn't done. All the sound comes form the front speaker. I didn't hear anything on the rears at all.

The subtitles are as mentioned before, burned into the print. This makes it a little difficult to read when there is a white background. This happens pretty early in the film but don't get discouraged, the subtitles are readable throughout about 95% of the movie. The spelling and grammatical error are at a minimum and the subtitles don't stray off the screen. They are also timed well with what is said.

This is the remastered version of HIGH RISK. This one has a menu with the option to choose either Mandarin or Cantonese soundtracks. Being the remastered version, it is also slightly cut. A couple of scenes seem to end a little abruptly when the pay off from the final blow is dealt. This is slightly annoying but I do prefer this to the dubbed and cut US release entitled MELTDOWN.

HIGH RISK is a very entertaining movie. If you are a Jackie Cheung or Jet Li fan, it's definitely worth a watch. This DVD is slightly disappointing because some of the scenes are slightly cut but it does have the original Cantonese and Mandarin soundtracks. With that in mind, the other choices for this DVD are the English dubbed MELTDOWN, or one with only the Mandarin soundtrack which may be out of print. Despite its flaws, if you are a fan of the movie, this DVD is probably the one to get at the moment.