Election (2005) - Crime, Drama, Thriller

Hohum Score



Rival gang leaders are locked in a struggle to become the new chairman of Hong Kong's Triad society.

IMDB: 7.1
Director: Johnnie To
Stars: Louis Koo, Suet Lam
Length: 101 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 4 out of 33 found boring (12.12%)

One-line Reviews (32)

It really is a stunning and rich portrayal of blood ties, favours and allegiances within the crime world.

The film uses numerous clever pieces of identification all the time playing with modernity yet sticking to tradition – a theme played with throughout the film Where John Woo's Hong Kong films are action packed and over the top in their explosive content as seen in Hard Boiled (1992) and when Hong Kong films do settle down into rhythms of telling the story from the 'bad' point of view, they can sometimes stutter and just become merely unmemorable, a good example being City on Fire (1987).

Enjoyable Gangster Flick.

Lok and Big D's struggle lacks a compelling impetus, and their supporting cast brings little to warrant applause.


My personal favourite of his work will always be "The Mission" (1999), the pinnacle of a stylish "gun" movie surrounding an ensemble of fascinating characters.

ELECTION is well made in the enjoyable, somewhat careless style of the Hong Kong fare; the ending is bitter, true, straight and will scare the kids.

It gets a bit hard to follow because the film is so full of characters that aren't integral to the plot.

However The Godfather, for example was a film which had a relatively slow paced storyline, yet you were utterly immersed for nigh on three hours, with Election the 100 minutes, feels like three hours, and that is not a good thing.

The one with which I began, ELECTION, is exciting and interesting, and only moderately violent by nowadays standards—moderately and also essentially violent; the story of an Asian godfather's scheming, it uses a puzzle play of elements, violent facts from the mobsters' lives, the race for the scepter, true details, and as with Coppola we are expected to believe that some of the morally glamorized mobsters are entitled and nice and likable.

I feel the best scene is the ending scene as it sums it up perfectly: two shifty characters fishing and debating the ruling of the Triads all the while remaining realistic, unpredictable and violent: in a tasteful manner, of course.

The Asian godfather this is not, but it is an enjoyable thriller in a gangster genre that will leave you on the edge of your seat and wincing at the violence.

"Election" showcases all that are exceptional about the Hong Kong film industry in the past 20 years or so; old thespians, A-cast list and upcoming actors join hands to make this grim but entertaining movie.

And while Election is an enjoyable piece of cinema...

So the film is quite enjoyable, for it's always nice to see a classical and well done HK triad movie.

Dress it up any way you like, this is a dull film, full of unengaging characters doing very little of interest.

Released within months of To's breathtaking 'Breaking News', it is hard not to draw comparisons between the two films and this latter effort feels somewhat restrained in contrast.

A porcelain spoon eating scene stands out the most, but the initiation rituals are fascinating too, and there is a part where a wooden log is used on a victim cowering in tall grass, plus the not-so-idyllic final fishing scene is shocking brutal.

I felt the story from this movie excessively confusing.

The baton thing is also confusing.

Too confusing .

First among them is the pacing, slow and dry to the point of making it hard for non-enthusiasts to sit through Election wriggle or nod free.

"Election" is a confusing gangster movie with a story that really shouldn't make so little sense.

Just a solid, well thought out and beautifully executed movie that is thoroughly enjoyable.

"Election" is a highly fascinating and thoroughly captivating thriller-drama, taking a deep and realistic view behind the origins of Triads-Rituals.

Whether Masons, made men in the Mafia, or members of the Wo Sing Society, the ceremonies are the same; fascinating to watch.

Don't expect a rip-roaring wild ride, expect a fairly entertaining trip, a leisurely drive through the world of the triads with acting that is superb but a story which is average, stunning visuals and clichéd endings.

But if "Election" is a good and entertaining movie, it doesn't really bring anything new to the genre.

Other plus points include the strength of the cinematography, typically shot in clean contrast with vivid colours and engaging compositions, while the acting is convincing with some slick performances from Tony Leung and Simon Yam.

Bland and Boring .

The supporting cast is engaging, with solid turns from To regulars, and a nice cameo from David Chiang as a police chief.

Election is a film that is memorable for the sheer fact of its unpredictable scenes, spontaneous action and violence that are done in a realistic and tasteful (if that's the right word) manner as well as the clever little 'in pieces' of film-making.