- 1 hr 40 min
Exiled is a Hong Kong action film released in 2006, directed by Johnnie To. The movie's central theme revolves around brotherhood, loyalty, and betrayal. The story is set in modern-day Macau in the 1990s, focusing heavily on the city's criminal underworld. The film's lead characters are four hitmen - Blaze (Anthony Wong), Tai (Francis Ng), Cat (Roy Cheung), and Fat (Lam Suet) â who reunite after a long hiatus to carry out a hit. However, their mission turns complicated when they discover that their intended target Wo (Nick Cheung) is now their friend, and they subsequently decide not to kill him. The ex-police officer Wo now lives a peaceful life with his wife Jin (Josie Ho) and their baby son.
The story takes a dramatic turn when the four hitmen decide to protect Wo and his family from their former employer, Boss Fay (Simon Yam). Now Exiled, the hitmen must face not only their former boss but also other rival gangs trying to collect a bounty on Wo's head. Adding to the troubles of these ex-hitmen are other hitmen, who are also after Wo. A chase ensues, with Wo, his family, and the hitmen caught in the middle.
The bulk of the movie showcases intense shootouts, choreographed fight scenes, and high-speed car chases. The excellent photography and sound design blends seamlessly with the action, further immersing the audience in this gritty crime drama. The movie provides a realistic portrayal of the underworld, with the film's characters facing moral dilemmas throughout.
Exiled explores the very nature of loyalty, to friends, to siblings, to having moral courage; its consequences when loyalty is broken and whether brotherhood and comradeship are stronger than revenge. The characters all have their personal reasons for their actions; some act out of loyalty, some for money, while others want revenge. Relationships between the hitmen are also delved upon, highlighting their brotherhood and how their bond is put to test.
The film's cast is excellent, with each actor bringing their own unique touch to their roles. Anthony Wong as Blaze delivers excellent performances in the film's action scenes. Francis Ng's character, Tai, serves as the conscience of the group in this movie. Nick Cheung's Wo is initially vulnerable but finds the courage to defend his family when he has to. Simon Yam is suitably menacing in his role as Boss Fay.
Director Johnnie To delivers an outstanding crime thriller with Exiled. The movie has an intense plot that offers a fine balance of violence and drama. The film's action scenes are mesmerizing and hold the viewer's attention. To's direction is nuanced, and he effectively captures the essence of the characters and their personalities.
The soundtrack is essential in Exiled. The movie's main theme music - a melancholic, rhythmic tune sung in Cantonese - adds to the movie's poignancy. Even the utilization of other songs used in the soundtrack, whether in a loud shootout or a car chase, fit neatly into the film's overall theme.
In conclusion, Exiled is an excellent action film with complex characters, a thoughtful narrative, and spectacular action scenes. Director Johnnie To and his talented cast and crew have done an exceptional job of creating a movie that is both engaging and thrilling. The movie delivers an outstanding story packed with drama, action, and thrills that keep the audience hooked from start to finish. Fans of action movies or crime thrillers are sure to fall in love with this gripping movie.
Exiled is a 2006 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 40 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2 and a MetaScore of 73.