Wo have shot his boss, and he hides with his wife and newborn child. Wo is found, and his former boss sends two old friends of Wo to kill him. When they show up, another two friends also show up at the same place and time. They want to protect Wo. Since they are all old friends and colleagues, they agree to spare Woo. But they need money. Their old boss is angry, and he wants his revenge.
I love The Mission, and I have to say Exiled is a better movie. Johnnie To got a bigger budget when he made Exiled. The movie looks a lot more expensive. The cinematography is gorgeous, and I got goosebumps during the first action scene that takes place in an apartment.
With Exiled, Johnnie To has made a modern western movie. It smells western of the whole movie. We get to see some amazing scenes, and the build-up is out of this world! And the soundtrack is gorgeous in Exiled, something I can’t say about the soundtrack in The Mission.
Regarding the story, Exiled feels like a remake of The Mission. The story is almost completely the same as in The Mission, and almost all of the same actors are back in the same roles. There isn’t a lot of substance here, but the entertainment value is high, and the movie has good actors who have chemistry you don’t experience that often. They are so comfortable around each other.
Where most movie directors save the long shootout towards the end of the movie, Johnnie To does the opposite. The last shootout is short, but it’s one of the most intense shootouts I’ve seen. The characters go out with style, and suddenly it’s all over. It’s not the most beautiful shootout in the movie, but it has the most energy. It’s so effective. The scene before the shootout is top-notch. It’s so stylish, and the tension is through the roof.
The actors in the movie are excellent. Exiled features many of Hong Kong’s best actors. It’s always wonderful to see Simon Yam as an angry, crazy triad leader. Anthony Wong is always cool and unpredictable. Anthony Wong isn’t a man you can quite trust, he has a poker face. He’s one of very few actors who steal all the scenes he’s in without saying a word.
Exiled is one of the best movies Johnnie To has ever made. This is a quality movie from start to finish. The actors, the structure, the soundtrack, and the cinematography are world-class. And there’s also some humor here. Johnnie To offers a lot of quality when he makes action movies and Exiled deserves the quality stamp. This is one of Johnnie To’s best movies.