Extreme Crisis

They are still trying to make an action star out of Julian Cheung Chi-Lam and I just don’t get it. He doesn’t have that action hero presence about him. His looks are such that he should be performing in your basic yuppies in  love schlock. But having said that, he does do better here than in some previous things he has been in and overall this is pretty good action flick.
Theresa Lee and Julian Cheung Chi-Lam
This HK/Japanese co-production is a combination of Die Hard and The Rock in which a fanatic Japanese religious group (similar to Black Sheep) are threatening to kill all the inhabitants of HK with sarin gas. The first scene takes place in Japan and almost an entire elite commando squad is wiped out by these religious terrorists. The leader, Yoshinaga, though is arrested in HK and so the terrorists go there and take a whole lot of hostages to obtain his release.
The one Japanese commando survivor also goes and teams up with  Julian to try and stop them. This Japanese commando played by Kenya Sawada is everything Julian is not. Very charismatic and very believable in the action scenes. And this film is close to non-stop action and quite well done. And no punches are pulled. Unlike Hollywood which might have a hostage or two killed, here they are massacred by the score. The terrorists are great - vicious and unrelenting.
Kenya Sawada
And Hsu Chi is also present and accounted for here. She plays a news woman and in an early scene she swerves her car in front of a runaway truck that is about to make a mincemeat pie out of some school children and stops a tragedy. Way to go Hsu !. And needless to say, she becomes one of the hostages. Why is it that the hero’s girl is always in the wrong place at the wrong time?. She has a nice though much smaller role than the male protagonists.
Hsu Chi and terrorist
I should also mention that Theresa Lee has a large part as Julian’s commander, but she is even less convincing than Julian as a cop. But I still think she is a cutie.
Again, a slick well done though not particularly original action film. One of the scenes from The Rock is definitely plagiarized here down to the swelling tragic music being played as bodies get shot to pieces. Lots of action and some surprising moments where you just go “whoa ! I wasn’t expecting that”.

But damn that final ten minute countdown on the bomb lasted a long time. They could have evacuated most of HK in the time it took !

Finally a very lovely song played during the final credits - “Weep no More” by Na Ying.

According to Top Ten Central - there was quite a stir in Japan about the depiction of this cult and the director was a bit concerned for his safety. Top Ten also mentions that this bombed at the HK box office.

My rating for this film: 7.0