TRIAD ELECTION
(Hak se wui yi wo wai kwai)
© 2007 by C.E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.

gangster melodrama ELECTION, TRIAD
ELECTION
can stand on its own as a terrific
film. Perhaps those lucky enough to have seen
the first film (and I am not in that august
group) may have a better appreciation for the
back story, but this sequel (known elsewhere as

ELECTION 2
) has its own merits. For some
viewers, the film may hold echoes of
THE
GODFATHER
sequels, particularly as the hero,
Jimmy Lee (nicely portrayed by Hong Kong     
singer-actor Louis Koo) is trying to shed his
past association with the mafia-like triad while
making his mark as a legitimate businessman.
And not unlike Michael Corleone, just when he
thinks he has made it out, he gets pulled back
into the fray. Lee must decide whether or not to
run for the coveted position of Chairman,     
challenging Lok (Simon Yam), the incumbent
who desires an unprecedented second term.

Lee has sworn he has no interest in obtaining
the post of chairman but a run-in with the
police in China alters that: a corrupt official
makes it clear that if Lee were the Chairman,
his business dealings would be approved.
Otherwise, Lee would never be able to do
business with the mainland ever again. Faced
with this dilemma, it becomes a no-brainer. Lee
has to challenge Lok (whom he supported in the
first film) and emerge as the winner.

There are several themes at work in To's
film, which was scripted by Yau Nai-hoi and Yip
Tin-shing. They are tackling big ideas like the
preservation of tradition and the overall reach
of destiny, but they are also slyly suggesting    
that Jimmy Lee is the perfect man to run the
Triad of the 21st Century because it has
evolved into something not unlike a giant
corporation. The filmmakers also do not neatly
resolve everything, perhaps leaving room for
ELECTION 3.


   
Rating:                 B+
   
Running time:       92 mins.
An image from Triad Election
(Hak se wui yi wo wai kwai)
Photo Credit: Tartan USA