On The Run: ”Get out if you want to stay alive.”

Year: 1988
Directed by Alfred Cheung
Produced by Sammo Hung
Written by Keith Wong Wang-Gei and Alfred Cheung

Cast: Yuen Biao, Charlie Chin, Ida Chan, Lee Heung-Kam, Lo Lieh, Yuen Wah, Philip Ko, Do Tak-Chi, Lam Lap-San, Bowie Lam,Cheung Choi-Mei and Peter Pau

A cop is forced to be on the run after he discovered his superiors are involved in a scheme related to his murdered wife.
On the Run exceeds on two fronts. One is being a thrilling action flick, and the other, is being a moody film noir. It is tightly directed as evident in its cinematography. The neon lights glow dramatically amidst the overly dark surroundings. A heavy dose of close-ups brings a certain focus on intense facial impressions. Claustrophobic environments are featured a quite a bit. The foreboding ambiance drives the plot from start to finish. Heung Ming’s future is dim from start to finish as well. Luck is never evidently not on Heung Ming’s side as he’s a glutton for punishment.
Film noir is far from a thing that you would associate with Yuen Biao. Yet, Yuen Biao’s dramatic side as an actor is one of On the Run’s greatest strengths. Biao proves there is more to him than just flips and martial arts with a worthwhile dramatic performance. Pat Ha deserves praise for her portrayal as well. Chui Pai is a solemn and deadly woman but with a strong hint of vulnerability. The duo’s bond has enough subtleties in it that it is more than meets the eye.

The villains working within the law and being police officers present a unique challenge. Most of the actors that play the villains tend to play gangsters. Which probably was intentional, and done so, to subtly suggest that these guys aren’t up to any good. The corrupt cops are in their odd pinch of their own. Both are heroes and the villains are in a desperate situation. It is that desperation that compels both sides to act that causes On The Run to be such a thrilling experience.

On The Run is a no holds barred moody film noir that accomplishes more than what it sets out to do.

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