Colour Of The Game has an impressive cast but colourless plot

(From far left) Philip Ng, Jordan Chan, Simon Yam and Sabrina Qiu in Colour Of The Game.
(From far left) Philip Ng, Jordan Chan, Simon Yam and Sabrina Qiu in Colour Of The Game.PHOTO: SHAW ORGANISATION

REVIEW / CRIME THRILLER

COLOUR OF THE GAME (NC16)

104 minutes/Opens tomorrow/2/5 stars

The story: Old-hand gang member Wallace (Simon Yam) is tasked to kill Robert, the son of a mob boss. In addition to his protege Sky (Philip Ng), he also rounds up his usual gang, which includes his daughter, Lily (Sabrina Qiu), Tyson (Jordan Chan) and BBQ (Cheung Siu Fai). The mission goes horribly wrong and Wallace later finds out that it was all a set-up to flush out the mole in his team.

As Wallace and gang prepare to head out to take down Robert, they are all dressed in the same hue, as though they are part of a pop group. And pristine white is the colour of choice, never mind that their clothes are likely to be stained with grime and blood.

Meanwhile, the army of baddies who surprise them are dressed head to toe in black, like ninjas.

How else will the audience be able to tell them apart? What better way to illustrate how utterly literal the film is in the interpretation of its title?

Prolific B-grade film-maker Wong Jing previously directed Colour Of The Truth (2003) and Colour Of The Loyalty (2005). Colour Of The Game is supposedly the third film in the trilogy, but it is a standalone title. He writes and produces, but hands over directing duties to Kam Ka Wai (iGirl, 2016).

What this means is that visually, there are some nicely lensed scenes with unusual angles.

But Kam is ultimately hemmed in by the lacklustre story.

The revelation of the mole comes as an anticlimax and the themes of brotherhood and torn loyalties have been more fruitfully explored elsewhere. Meanwhile, busty actresses fill out the one-dimensional female characters.

It is hard to pinpoint why this was even made in the first place. Or how they managed to assemble a cast that includes the likes of Yam, Cheung and Chan. But even these workhorses of the Hong Kong movie industry need something, anything, to work with.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 06, 2017, with the headline 'Literally colourless'. Print Edition | Subscribe