Kepong Gangster | Movie Release, Showtimes & Trailer | Cinema Online
Movie Details

Kepong Gangster

Dubbed the "Five Tigers", Malaysian actors Melvin Sia, Henley Hii, Hero Tai, Rayz Lim and Billy Ng portray secondary school students who end up joining gangs for different reasons, including protection from bullies, financial problems, power struggles and various other temptations.

Language: Mandarin
Subtitle: NA
Classification: P13
Release Date: 13 Sep 2012
Genre: Action / Crime
Running Time: 1 Hour 47 Minutes
Distributor: RAM Entertainment
Cast: Melvin Sia, Henley Hii, Hero Tai, Rayz Lim, Billy Ng
Director: Teng Bee
Format: 35MM, 2D

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Review
Writer: Peter Chai

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Watch this if you liked: “Monga” and “Young And Dangerous”

Everyone has his/her first time when it comes to trying new things. Well, there is no exception for director Teng Bee who makes a huge transition from directing music videos to helm his first ever big screen production "Kepong Gangster". It seems to be not an entirely smooth first time filming experience for the local filmmaker, however, after going through hardships like garnering objection from Kepong representatives, lack of extras and multiple delay in filming, the locally-made gangster drama finally makes its way to the cinemas.

Directed by Teng Bee, "Kepong Gangster" features the tough journey of five high school students Ah Zhong (Henley Hii), Ah Hai (Melvin Sia), Teo Chew Boy (Hero Tai), Billy (Billy Ng) and Bing (Rayz Lim) in Kepong. Getting enough of being constantly bullied by other aggressive youngsters, they decide to progress into gangsterism in order to protect themselves. After successfully carrying out a murder ordered by their leader, Gai Tong Gor (Jovi Theng), they find themselves sinking deeper into the dark waters of the gangster society. Immediately, these young kids are promoted to a high position within the gang as they are dubbed as the "Five Tigers". Since then, the once innocent youngsters have now become the most famous gangsters in the Chinese New Village area. Nevertheless, as they are living their lives somewhat peacefully, their fate soon comes to a turning point when each of them are destructed by greediness, drug issues, betrayal and the hunger for more power in the gangster triad, leading them to pay a hefty price for what they have gained.

The first thing that attracts the reviewer is the soundtrack. It is fair to claim that the movie's score serves as a powerful tool used by the production team to boost the power of the "Five Tigers" and thus leads one deeper into the intensity of the violent and heartbreaking plot from the beginning till the end of the story. Perhaps this should be credited to director Teng who spent years in the music industry. His strong sense of melodies ranging from rock to classics has instilled some colours to the dark and mysterious theme of the drama, something that you would not be able to experience from the famous Hong Kong "Young And Dangerous" franchise which can be categorised as being in the same genre.

Besides his directorial duties, Teng shows a considerate effort in making a change in the genre of gangster thrillers, which are often self-stereotyping for only presenting bloody killing scenes, alcohol, drug abuse and other physical harms one can think of. His script has guided us to a more emotional atmosphere through the struggling moments of a human being who follows a wrong path that's blinded by power. Even the dialogue does not inject much vulgar words and 'low taste' conversations like what we have commonly grown to know in most of the Cantonese-speaking gangster films.

Rocker Henley Hii is able to deliver a much gutsy performance in his second movie, compared to his debut in "23:59". You will notice that his eye contact with others is always on 'fearless mode'. Despite being a wise leader of the "Five Tigers", Hii managed to show the utter sincerity of sacrificing for friends through his role, Ah Zhong.

On the other hand, a much more experienced and award-winning star Melvin Sia, who normally plays the 'McDreamy' type characters in his television dramas, makes a different approach in this movie by portraying bad guy Ah Hai, a role that makes you want to strangle his neck as someone who goes too far just to gain the top spot of the biggest gang in Kepong, without thinking of his loved ones.

Based on the sex and violent aspects in the movie, it is strongly recommended for children to be opted out of the experience, but looking at the bigger picture, "Kepong Gangster" is not wholly vulgar, instead it is a very realistic gangster piece that reminds you of life from the dark perspective and the quality of this movie has shown a new level of production that the Malaysian filmmakers are able to reach through the rising and competitive local movie industry.

Cinema Online, 11 September 2012

   
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Classification
U - General viewing for all ages
P12 - Parental guidance required for audiences under the age of 12.
13 - For audiences aged 13 years old and above.
16 - For audiences aged 16 years old and above.
18 - For 18+ with elements for mature audiences
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