Watch This: Johnnie To reimagines the gangster film for the modern-capitalism era
Every day, Watch This offers staff recommendations inspired by a new movie coming out that week. This week: With Black Mass currently in theaters, and Legend on its way to them, we’re recommending gangster movies.
If there ever was a time marked by honor among thieves, that era is long gone by the start of Election, swept away by modernity’s ruthless ambition. The first of a two-part saga that concluded with 2006’s Triad Election (a.k.a. Election 2), Johnnie To’s 2005 crime film immerses itself in the Hong Kong underworld, where the criminal Wo Shing society is holding an election for its new chairman. That contest pits Lok (Simon Yam) against Big D (Tony Leung Ka-fai), the former a calm, respected, would-be Godfather and the latter an arrogant, slightly unhinged outlaw who’s determined to ascend to Wo Shing’s throne through bribery …