‘I Did It My Way’ Review – Drug Trafficking At Its Most Aimless
Drug trafficking has evolved in I Did It My Way, starring Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs), Gordon Lam (Ip Man), Eddie Peng (Tai Chi Zero), Simon Yam (Kill Zone 2), Cya Liu (Sakra), and Philip Keung (Drug War). As its selling and distribution reach an all-time high, a 4-ton shipment is on the verge of reaching Hong Kong. Purchasing narcotics has never been easier as the dark web will serve as both a technological breakthrough and a means of convenience.
Assistant police commissioner Chung (Yam) has put Fong Hin (Peng) in charge of the Cybercrime Investigation Unit. Cybercrimes believes that a drug lord with the code name “Boss” is the one responsible for the recent surge in drug trafficking in all of Asia.
The prime suspect is a man named Cham Chiu Sang (Keung). His associates are barrister George Lam (Lau) and a cleaner known as Sau Ho (Lam). If Boss can take drug trafficking online permanently, then narcotics will be at everyone’s fingertips.
Directed by Jason Kwan (Chasing the Dragon I & II), I Did It My Way is overflowing with Hong Kong talent with a trailer that leads one to believe the film will be intriguing and action-packed.
Off to a rocky start with its annoying quick cuts and CSI flash-style editing, I Did It My Way is a crime drama first and an action film second where every shot seems to not last longer than a few seconds; rapidly dissolving into the following sequence or dramatically featuring five different angles of someone either standing or sitting alone.
The two highlights in the film are the torture sequence led by Sau Ho and Eddie Peng’s brawl in a wine cellar — the former being the most brutal scene of the film, culminating with a plastic bag full of water used as both a suffocating device and a fishbowl presentation as a bullet blasts through the victim’s head.
Similarly, the wine cellar brawl has shades of John Wick, and Eddie Peng does this awesome sliding suplex reminiscent of Donnie Yen’s grappling style that he utilizes in Flash Point.
There are also moments when the CGI is ridiculously detailed. Early on in the film, there’s a shot that focuses on a camera lens in the rain. Water droplets slide down the lens as the camera travels down the side to reveal two police drones flying in the rain. While these shots are incredibly intricate, all the dark web, firewall, and hacking stuff feels like a Fortnite update to The Lawnmower Man film.
Overall, I Did It My Way feels like a big-budget soap opera. All of these actors have had memorable performances in the past, but this film lives and breathes on an exaggerated and overwhelmingly dramatic demeanor. Andy Lau’s character is entangled in this massive drug ring while also juggling the upcoming birth of his child with his pregnant wife.
Apart from throwing a chair in one instance, the most emotion Lau shows here is bookended between having pouty duck lips and giving someone the finger off camera. During a shootout, Lau’s future wife (played by Cya Liu) acts like she is clueless about the fact that people could die when shot.
The problem is not that the performances are forgettable. The main issue is that these actors are playing either cops or criminals but they all seem to be playing the same character.
There’s also so much story invested into the criminals that it looks like you’re supposed to feel sympathetic for the guys distributing all the drugs. They’re the ones with the families, and they’re the ones that face the big tragedies in the film. The cops talk trash and show no remorse when the bodies start piling up.
With its sudden zoom-ins when the mood gets serious, a huge chunk of the film seemingly being devoted to Andy Lau looking contemplative on rooftops, and an unsettling premature baby puppet brought to life by even creepier CGI that tickles your ick factor far more than your tear ducts, I Did It My Way has a ton of potential that it squanders with outright ridiculousness.