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Gun of Mercy

A grizzled cop escorts five prisoners through landscape ravaged by floods in "Gun of Mercy," an OK action drama punctuated by sf/x that survives thanks to classy playing by vet actor Liu Peiqi in the lead role. Not spectacular enough to make the grade as a disaster movie -- it's not even in widescreen -- this could scrape into Mainland film weeks as an audience-pleaser between more serious fare. Pic releases locally in mid-October.

With:
With: Liu Peiqi, Jiang Wu, David Wu, Li Bin, Cao Ying.

A grizzled cop escorts five prisoners through landscape ravaged by floods in “Gun of Mercy,” an OK action drama punctuated by sf/x that survives thanks to classy playing by vet actor Liu Peiqi in the lead role. Not spectacular enough to make the grade as a disaster movie — it’s not even in widescreen — this could scrape into Mainland film weeks as an audience-pleaser between more serious fare. Pic releases locally in mid-October.

Gangbusters opening, as disastrous floods force the evacuation of a city jail, is continued as the van carrying Officer Ma (Liu) and his charges is swept into a river by a breaking dam. Ma manages to get them out, and thereon everyone is at each other’s throats as they trudge through a giant forest. Ma has only five bullets (pic’s Chinese title) in his gun, and the story is paragraphed into segs as he uses each projectile. Jiang Wu, as a grinning weirdo, gets the showiest role, and David Wu, as a convicted businessman, the coolest, but it’s Liu who gives the pic some passing stature. F/x by Kiwi companies Park Road Post and Weta Digital are pulpy.

Gun of Mercy

China

Production: A China Film Group/Shanghai Film Group release of a Shenzhen Movie Prod., Shanghai Film Studio, China TV Media, Shenzhen Film Studio, Beijing Seaking Intl. Movie Investment Co. production. (International sales: China Film Group, Beijing.) Produced by Xiao Feng, Cong Shan. Executive producers, Ren Zhonglun, Song Lequn, Gao Xiaoping, Pan Jian. Directed by Xiao Feng. Screenplay, S. Louisa Wei, Xiao Rong, Li Luke, from a story by Yang Liguang.

Crew: Camera (color), Liang Ming; editors, Cindy Yang, Zhu Ping; music, Wang Liguang; art directors, Yu Baiyang, Liu Yichuan. Reviewed at Beijing Screenings, Sept. 19, 2007. Original Mandarin title: 5-ke zidan..... Mandarin dialogue. Running time: 92 MIN.

With: With: Liu Peiqi, Jiang Wu, David Wu, Li Bin, Cao Ying.

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