Film still from “Throw Down”

Film still from “Throw Down”

Film
Sundays for Hong Kong

Throw Down

Feature film, HK 2004, DCP, restored version
Directed by Johnnie To

To’s highly personal tribute to his favourite film-maker Akira Kurosawa is hilarious, affecting, melancholic and absurd, all at the same time. And it has cool action visuals that don’t take themselves too serious.

  • 95 min
  • In Cantonese with English subtitles

The characters in “Throw Down” are all losers, but they are entrusted with the most profound meaning of a harmony that may be impossible, but is alive and kicking nevertheless. There is an ex-judo champion whose fate is one of misadventure (Louis Koo), a beautiful, penniless singer who has no future and is overlooked by fame (Cherrie Ying) and a young sportsman who chooses challenges as a form of survival, fighting against the end of hope itself (Aaron Kwok).

Martial arts have always been popular in Hong Kong cinema, but a judo film is still very rare. In this quiet ode to men and women subdued by life and confined to its margins, we find one of the most stunning, moving and stylistically breath-taking scenes that To has ever shot, the escape from the gambling den, an action scene that stops and starts many times, with the rhythm, abstraction, the humanity and the scenography of a 1950’s Hollywood musical.

Throw Down

Trailer