Colour of the Truth may be pitched at the Infernal Affairs market, but it's a smart cop thriller with more than enough going for it to stand on its own merits. Years after his father (Lau Chin Wan) was shot by one of the other cops in his squad (Anthony Wong), a new recruit (Ho-Yin Wong) finds himself working for the same man. Keeping his own identity secret from his new boss, at first it's not any clearer whether he has another agenda - especially when approached by the son of the gangster who died alongside his father to take mutual revenge - than it is whether Wong is a good cop, a bad cop, the Devil in disguise or a social worker in a world where appearances can be fatally deceptive.
You know it's going to end as it started, with three men and a gun on a rooftop, but how it gets there is the fun. There are as many twists in the characters as there are in the plot, not least Wong's at once open and enigmatic protagonist with a mind like a filing cabinet (you even get to hear Wong talk in a Cockney accent at one point!) or Jordan Chan's second-generation gangster, a guy so smart he can beat three people at three different games blindfolded simultaneously - and does! - while even Chapman To's comic relief pays off more often than not. The action's not wanting either, particularly an ingenious shootout in Wong's wheelchair-bound father's apartment and a shootout seen via CCTV. If it's not always entirely believable it's put together with style, intelligence and imagination and makes for a particularly satisfying thriller.
The UK DVD is a good package, with a good widescreen transfer preserving the original slightly desaturated (but not excessively so) colour, subtitled Cantonese and dubbed English language options, brief featurette, trailer and trailers for other releases.
I am working my way through films I should have seen a while ago and this is one from the Hong Kong cop, action, stable that they can do so well. It is about Cola (Ho Yin-Wong) he is the son of 7-Up - and I am not making this up. `7 - Up', apart from being a crude reference to `Sleeping Beauty', is actually a cop, who like a moth, flies too close to the dark light of the criminal underworld. In so doing he is killed, and the one person who could have done it is his boss. That is Wong Jiang played brilliantly by Anthony Wong (`Infernal Affairs' 1 &2 and `Exiled') a hard hearted cop who cares for the abandoned looks after his frail father and acts like a ruthless assassin when duty calls.
Cola grows up and becomes Diet Pepsi -sorry I did make that up, he actually becomes a cop like his pop (bad pun) and gets close to his nemesis and Daddy killer, but as he is about to take forward his Machiavellian plans for revenge, he is approached by the son of the other guy who died in the shoot out. This is the son of `Blind Chiu', he is a criminal and has lots of connections and wants to join Cola in a revenge pact. We also have a plethora of other characters and a bad drugs deal some questionable police tactics and a shower of double crosses that will keep you guessing.
The action is pretty good and through out, but it is the story that holds this together, but blood splatter fans will not be asking for refunds. The acting is all pretty much the right side of decent and the cinematography is fine. This is one of those films that will have you on the edge of your seat but afterwards you will not quite remember why. It is in a number of languages but with good sub titles and for fans of Asian cinema this is a great little thriller you ought to see, at least once, best enjoyed with a can of drink - probably.