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Gun of Mercy
    2008-04-13 18:20:21     CRIENGLISH.com

Poster of Film "Gun of Mercy" [Photo: cnwest.com]

Five Bullets ... None of them had been shot to end people's lives. Where have those bullets gone?

Based on a true story, "Gun of Mercy" centers on a veteran prison guard who escorts three inmates through land ravaged by a disastrous flood in southern China.

Also known as "Five Bullets" based on its Chinese title, the film was helmed by well-known Chinese director Xiao Feng, who has won a series of state-level film awards. It features prominent cast members such as Hong Kong star David Wu as a convicted embezzler rumored to have hidden his fortune before serving his time, and veteran mainland actor Liu Peiqi, who plays the leading role of the dutiful cop. Jiang Wu acts as a convicted killer currently awaiting execution and Li Bin portrays a young thief who is about to be paroled. The film combines the different genres of drama, thriller and science fiction.

Several master-hands from Hong Kong, Hollywood, California, and Australia were invited to work on the special effects and cinematography for the film's flood destruction scenes.

The story begins as rapidly worsening floods force the evacuation of a city jail. Lao Ma, a grizzled prison guard has been assigned to transport three dangerous convicts to another safer institution. As the plot progresses, Lao Ma and his charges are swept into a swollen river that breaks the riverbanks. Lao Ma manages to rescue them from the van after it gets trapped in the river. When they find the waterlogged country roads to be impassable, they must trudge through a giant forest.

From then on, the four men with different fates and personalities are forced to face the challenges of being alive together. On the one hand, they take care of and work with each other to survive the flood. On the other hand, the old guard realizes that the men might try to run away. His gun is the only thing that lets him remain in charge. Although Lao has only five rounds of bullets, he never fires them to kill any of the convicts, even when they threaten his own safety.

Liu Peiqi said Lao Ma finally manages used a powerful but merciful way to conquer the prisoners rather than using his gun to solve the problem.

"We all know bullets are used for shooting enemies." Liu said in an interview after a premiere ceremony held in Beijing on April 10, "But we just use them to express a kind of humanity and benevolence. Unlike the usual relationship between cop and convict, we are trying to take on a different perspective. In the story, they are completely bound to each other for life. All my projectiles are used to protect the prisoners' lives. The film just shows the moral strength of the gun rather than its function as a deterrent."

The film opened in theaters across China on Friday and is competing with Gu Changwei's latest movie "And the Spring Comes," which stars Jiang Wenli, and the French action thriller "Taken," directed by Pierre Morel.

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