Caught In Time Review
Zhong Cheng, Qianyuan Wang (“The Eight Hundred”, “The Guilty Ones”), arrives as Captain at his new headquarters. However, on the way to the station from his pickup, they make a detour to check something out.
Cheng steps out and notices the shutters down on a jewellery store, when he checks he sees there’s a robbery taking place. Despite his best attempts at single-handedly stopping it he ends up caught by the masked men, though they throw him from the moving car whilst being chased by the police, and he’s promptly arrested.
Caught In Time is based on some real-life crimes and in fact part way through we switch to seeing some actual footage of the aftermath of those crimes. They all took place in the 1990’s with them finally being caught in late 1994.
These robbers would plan and rehearse every detail of the robberies, even timing how long it took the police to get to the place they were raiding so they knew how long they had. But they also had no qualms about shooting people, innocent people, along the way.
As the years go by and the gang continue to rob and kill, the Chinese authorities begin installing CCTV everywhere, this doesn’t stop them but it does slow them down.
Co-writer and director Ho-Leung Lau (“Killer and Undercover (Short)”, “Two Thumbs Up”) deserves great credit for the visual appearance of Caught In Time (Leo Hong is the other writer). It’s stunning to look at and he utilises some great shots at times whilst combining old and new footage and adding grain to flashbacks is a neat touch.
The whole thing has a definite nineties vibe to it, you can imagine Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee bursting into proceedings at some point.
Both Wu and Wang perform their individual dances very well. The script plays them off against each other but also shows how similar the pair are, just that one has chosen the police and the other a life of crime, but they are both intelligent and learn quickly.
There’s a decent amount of action too in Caught In Time, some of the shoot-outs are a great workout for your surround sound system.
If there’s a niggle, there’s always a niggle, there are parts that make the movie feel like a propaganda film for China. A CGI randomly soars through the sky at one point, the Captain is always pulling flyers from government posters and the end tells us China is one of the safest countries in the world now, with no mention of safe for who exactly.
Anyway, that aside, Caught In Time is a very good watch, really well made and shot crime / action movie. Worth a watch. Signature Entertainment presents Caught in Time on digital platforms from the 7th February 2022.
Originally published at https://www.ocmoviereviews.com.