Review: 'Drug War'

Drug War
Louis Koo stars as drug lord and meth mogul Timmy Choi in Johnny To’s exciting stoner flick, ’Drug War.’

It's not often you get to say Chinese drug movie, which is what Drug War decidedly is. Full of car chases and gun battles, Johnny To's powerhouse action flick gets most of its juice from meth.

Drug War careens wildly out of control from the opening scene when Timmy Choi (Louis Koo) crashes his car into a restaurant. He's freshly escaped from a meth plant explosion, leaving burn marks and bruises all over his face. Captain Zhang (Honglei Sun) happens to be at the same hospital. He's a narc who just busted several people who have to crap bindles out of their butts. Choi sneaks out, but Zhang follows him and the foot chase is on. Choi eventually agrees to inform on his business associates, who have a big deal going down at another plant. Zhang plays along as the story goes through numerous confusing zigs and zags, occasionally stopping for a shootout. Interestingly, all the gunfire comes from magnums, not assault rifles, giving the soundtrack a terrific rat-a-tat feel.

Meth is treated like crack in Drug War. In several car scenes, it's smoked out of plastic bottles with tubes attached. The users are whacked out. One scene really stands out, when Honglei Sun, doubling as dealer Haha, who laughs loudly at everything, is forced to get high on his own supply.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.