High Risk (1995 film)

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High Risk
Hong Kong film poster
MandarinShú Dán Lóng Wěi
CantoneseSyu2 Daam2 Lung4 Wai1
Directed byWong Jing
Produced byWong Jing
Written byWong Jing
StarringJet Li
Jacky Cheung
Chingmy Yau
Charlie Yeung
Music byJussi Tegelman
Richard Yuen
CinematographyLau Moon-tong
Edited byAngie Lam
Wong Jing's Workshop Limited
Distributed byUpland Films Corporation Limited
Release date
  • 13 July 1995 (1995-07-13)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryHong Kong
Box office$11,403,790

High Risk, also known in the United States as Meltdown, is a 1995 Hong Kong action comedy film written, produced and directed by Wong Jing and starring Jet Li, Jacky Cheung, Chingmy Yau, Charlie Yeung, Billy Chow, Kelvin Wong and Valerie Chow. Corey Yuen serves as the film's fight choreographer. This was Kelvin Wong's final film appearance, who retired from acting, until his death 15 years later.

The film is a parody of some of Hollywood's most influential action films, such as Die Hard and Speed. It also gained controversy for spoofing Jackie Chan, who was, in turn, offended by the satire.


Kit Li, a cop on the Hong Kong Police bomb squad, responds to a call at a local school, where a terrorist group led by the Doctor has taken a school bus hostage. He soon discovers his wife and son are on board the explosives-rigged bus. Kit sends a subordinate to disarm the bomb, but matters are complicated due to the intricate setup of the bomb, which eventually explodes, killing everyone on the bus, including Kit's family. In the aftermath, Kit leaves the force and serves as a stunt double for martial arts action star Frankie Lone. However, Helen, a tabloid reporter, films one of his stunts and thus discovers Lone's duplicity, using it to boost her show's ratings.

At a wrap party for Frankie's film, Frankie's father and his manager invite Kit to a jewelry exhibition at the newly opened Hotel Grandeur, but the Doctor also targets the exhibition. At a traffic stop, Kit overhears the Doctor uttering a catchphrase which he used during the school bus bombing, and realizing the Doctor's identity, he follows the car back to the Hotel Grandeur, but is unable to convince the hotel manager of the impending threat. At a nearby police station, only Detective Kam Chow and a desk sergeant believe him.

The Doctor and his team take over the building, take the guests hostage, and initiate a massacre. Kit and Chow return, only to find themselves ambushed by the Doctor's gang members in a shootout, in which Chow is injured. Frankie manages to escape and runs into Fai, who pretends to be a helpless damsel in distress, leading him right to her partner, Kong. It is revealed that Kong is obsessed with beating Frankie in combat. Frankie runs away after encountering Kong.

Kit and Chow thin out the Doctor's numbers after driving the car out of the freight elevator. Frankie's father wrestles a weapon away from a terrorist and threatens the hacker trying to deactivate the exhibit's security measures. Chow is reunited with his girlfriend Joyce. Kit tries to kill the Doctor in revenge when the villain mocks him, but the attempt tips the scales back in the terrorists' favor. Kit, Helen and Frankie's father barely manage to escape.

Helen runs into a room with an exhibit of poisonous reptiles, places the videotape underneath a display case and hides in the men's washroom. The Doctor's younger brother, Rabbit, throws some of the snakes into the bathroom, poisoning her in the process. Kit and the Lones rescue Helen, administering anti-venom serum, and Kit learns that Helen managed to record the Doctor's face in her footage.

Meanwhile, the Doctor warns the police that if they do not meet his impossible demands, he will toss a hostage out the window every ten minutes, with Frankie's manager Charlie Tso as the first victim. Kit retrieves the tape, and successfully kills Rabbit before escaping a grenade blast and landing in police custody. The police refuse to let Kit go back into the hotel, so Kit forces the desk sergeant he encountered earlier to let him return via helicopter at gunpoint. The Lones meet Fai and Kong in the midst of an argument that has escalated into a fight. The Lones intervene, unaware of Fai's true colors, until she holds them at gunpoint. Fai is about to murder Chow, but Chow seizes her gun and shoots her dead. Kong attacks Frankie's entourage; but when he begins punching Frankie's father, Frankie retaliates and kills Kong.

The Doctor intercepts a police transmission and sends his men to ambush the helicopter. Helen manages to warn Kit, who rams the helicopter into the building. In the resulting chaos everyone escapes, but the Doctor captures Helen and takes her to the roof. Kit finds Helen with a bomb strapped to her, and the Doctor taunts him to choose between taking revenge on him or saving the life of another loved one. Kit throws a knife, hitting the Doctor in the shoulder before the latter escapes. Kit finds out that the wiring is the same as the last bomb, and this time successfully defuses it. A few seconds later, he gets a call from the Doctor. Kit informs the Doctor that the dagger he threw was smeared with snake venom from Helen's wound, and the Doctor dies in agony.

Frankie decides to use the incident as the basis for his new movie, while crediting everyone for their heroics. Kit, however, leaves with Helen, who expresses her gratitude with an announcement of wishing to marry him.


  • Jet Li as Kit Li - Kit used to work for the police, but left the force after losing his wife and son in a bomb threat he thought he had defused. He later became the personal body guard of Frankie and would even perform stunts for him when Frankie was inebriated. He is an expert martial artist and fights most of the major villains throughout most of the film.
  • Jacky Cheung as Frankie Lone, a famous and popular action movie star famous for doing all of his own stunts. In reality, he is very lazy and lecherous. His character is assumed to be a spoof of Jackie Chan[citation needed] and Bruce Lee; he even wears Lee's iconic yellow jump suit from Game of Death.
  • Kelvin Wong as The Doctor
  • Valerie Chow as Fai-fai, the Doctor's partner
  • Billy Chow as Kong, one of the Doctor's henchmen. He is obsessed with Frankie Lone, even to the point of fantasizing about defeating him in a fight.
  • Chingmy Yau as Helen Vu
  • Charlie Yeung as Joyce, one of the women working at the Hotel Grandeur. She is the reluctant girlfriend of rookie detective Chow Kam.
  • Yang Chung-hsien as Det. Chow Kam, a rookie policeman
  • Charlie Cho as Charlie Tso - Frankie Lone's manager. Killed by the Doctor when he is thrown off the balcony of the Hotel Grandeur.
  • Benjamin Lam as Rabbit
  • Suki Kwan as Li's Wife
  • Corey Yuen as Wai
  • Wu Ma as Frankie Lone's father

Film song[edit]

Theme song "High Risk"


The film grossed a modest HK $11,403,790 in Hong Kong, where it was released as 鼠胆龍威 (High Risk, Rat's bravery and Dragon's might), which parodies the title of Die Hard (虎膽龍威 Tiger's bravery and Dragon's might) in Hong Kong.

The movie takes a cinematic swipe at Jackie Chan, with whom director Wong Jing had worked previously on the City Hunter live-action film. After the release of City Hunter, Chan not only disowned the film, but attacked Wong personally in the press. Through the character of Frankie Lone, Wong insinuated that Chan was actually a boozing womanizer and a fraud who did not really do his own stunts after all.[citation needed]

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