PTU

PTU follows a group of police officers charged with patrolling the city of Hong Kong, who are asked for help by another officer who lost his gun in the area during a fight with a street gang, but is hesitant to report the loss to HQ, worried it will affect his upcoming promotion.

I really don’t know what to make of PTU. It’s not at all the movie I was expecting (having seen Heroic Trio last month, I thought someone would have superpowers here) but at the same time it didn’t defy my expectations, plowing along without any real direction. PTU is almost farcical at times yet it’s so straight-laced as to make me wonder whether the silliness is by design or whether this is intended to be a straight procedural drama whose seriousness has been lost in translation.

Because when a cop slips on a banana peel, it’s hard to take him seriously.  When he does it more than once, I have to take the second fall as a “shame on me” moment. And yet, to view that cop as incompetent brings everyone else’s competence into question too, since they take him seriously to the point of taking his advice.

PTU’s slow, deliberate pace might have fit well with a different police drama, but it quickly became a problem here by giving me time to raise these questions of competence for every character involved. And they all failed the test. A more action-oriented film may have kept me too busy to get bogged down in the details, but with PTU having such a slow pace, none of the characters looked good in the end. I couldn’t invest in any of them and couldn’t connect with PTU as a result.

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5 thoughts on “PTU

  1. raistlin0903

    I saw this movie quite a few years back. I always like Simon Yam as an actor, in fact he is one of my favorite Asian actors, but this film certainly wasn’t really memorable. From what I remember of it, there was also some pretty brutal stuff in it (a scene in a restaurant springs to mind) that also felt a bit out of place. All in all this could have been a whole lot better, totally agree with you 😊

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  2. Jade

    Humour is weird in films from Hong Kong, or Asia in general. 😂 I’m not a big fan of PTU, but I do love Johnnie To’s films. Election and Drug War are brilliant.

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