In the Stealth Riders division, a secret police unit consisting of the best drivers on the force, a split-second decision can be the difference between life and death. The officers who make up this division are tasked with taking down criminals in the drag racing underworld. When a legendary escape car driver reappears on the scene, the police themselves may be in over their heads. Pou-Soi Cheang's Motorway is a fun action film, specializing in car chases, that does enough to stand-out somewhat in this crowded sub genre. The narrative revolves around an overconfident rookie and his veteran partner, whose had past run-ins with this legendary criminal. Motorway focuses on this rookie character's eagerness for action, which inevitably leads him into trouble and eventually change. The character dynamics are quite obvious in this film with the veteran character representing the older and wiser man who must teach the rookie the shortfalls of his arrogance. It certainty isn't anything new but the change which transpires in the lead is heartfelt, going from gung-ho rookie to a man who has learned the consequences of his decisions and the fragile nature of life at 200 km/hr. That being said, most people aren't going to be interested in this film for the drama and character arc but the car chases. Fortunately, Motorway does just enough to keep these car chases exciting and somewhat unique, using some inventive cinematography which I haven't seen frequently in these types of action sequences. My favorite aspect of the action though is just how creative the film is in portraying how these skilled drives use their cars. The car is a tool to them and we see how they spin their tires to create diversions and use gas in their car specifically as a weapon, among other fun ideas. Of course this could easily come off cheesy but unlike the Fast and Furious films, which I do like, Motorway is more interested in presenting a grounded action film where most of the car stunts and action feels plausible and realistic. Motorway isn't deep by any means but it does enough character and story-wise to keep things interesting in between the high speed pursuits.
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