Synopsis by Mark Deming
A crime family flirts with democracy, leading to a fierce gangland battle in this stylish crime drama from Hong Kong director Johnnie To. With over 50,000 members, the Wo Shing Society is one of the largest and most powerful Triads in Hong Kong, and when the leadership committee needs a new head man, they decide to put the matter to a vote of their underlings. The two candidates are Lok (Simon Yam), a cool leader who doesn't rattle easily, and Big D (Tony Leung Kar-Fai), who has a short temper and is prone to violence. After Uncle Weng (Wong Tin-lam), an elderly and well-regarded member of the Triad, gives Lok his endorsement, he wins by a landslide, which does not sit well with Big D's uncertain temper. A ceremonial walking stick which is given to the Wo Shing Society's elected leader has disappeared, and Big D will stop at nothing to make sure it stays out of Lok's hands; meanwhile, the Hong Kong police are determined to bring down the Triad, and Big D ends up behind bars. The Wo Shing Society falls into chaos as in-fighting threatens to tear the Triad apart before the walking stick can be returned and Lok can be inaugurated as their new chief. Election (aka Hak Sewui) was a major box office success in Asia, and the story continued the following year in Election 2 (aka Hak se wui yi wo wai kwai).
election, organized-crime, power-struggle, rival