Lok Man-wah (Simon Yam) is an undercover cop who has been investigating drug kingpin Luk Chan-feng (Yu Rongguang) for two years, infiltrating Chan-feng's syndicate as a fellow dealer, but over the years Chan-feng has grown close to Man-wah, even declaring Man-wah as his closest associate and business partner. When Man-wah's identity is eventually blown, he ends up endangering everyone else around him, including his police superiors, his girlfriend June, and himself. A deadly game of cat-and-mouse is about to rage in the streets of Hong Kong...
Two sequels are made, titled Man Wanted 2: Those Were the Days (1996) and Man Wanted 3 (2000), both starring Simon Yam, but NOT reprising his role from the first movie. In fact, the sequels doesn't even belong to the Heroic Bloodshed genre at all, and are your rather standard, average run-of-the-mill gangster films which barely features any action or brotherhood bonding of any kind.
This film contains examples of
- Affably Evil: Chan-feng, the Big Bad, who acts chummy and friendly, polite to his clients and business partners, and declares Man-wah as his closest ally, but is actually a ruthless drug lord and killing machine who had no qualms committing murder, blackmail, kidnapping, extortion and various crimes.
- Cement Shoes: A variation for June's fate, she is chained by her wrists to an anchor and dropped into the Bay of Kowloon, while Man-wah is Forced to Watch as punishment for being an informant.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Part of what drives the plot of the movie, since Man-wah has been undercover as Chan -feng's accomplice for two years, and when the drug kingpin declares Man-wah as his best friend and closest ally, Man-wah the undercover cop had troubles on where his allegiance points.
- Crazy-Prepared: Man-wah, being on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Chan-feng and the drug dealers in the climax, attacks the dealers heads-on while armed with more than two pistols (so an emptied pistol can be Throwaway Guns) and even packs a Molotov Cocktail for backup.
- Dark Action Girl: Mindy, the sole female drug dealer and Chan-fengs girlfriend.
- Death of a Child: Chan-feng decides to turn against one of his clients by kidnapping the clients son, and while Man-wah manage to rescue the child from Chan-feng, the child still gets hit by a stray bullet and dies.
- Drugs Are Bad: Chan-feng is a drug dealer and criminal whose downfall is caused by his own supply of drugs. Rather straightforward message.
- Forced to Watch: Having captured Man-wah and his girlfriend June, Chan-feng decides to punish Man-wah for being an informant, by having his mooks hold down Man-wah while he personally had June chained to an anchor and then shoving the anchor into the Bay of Kowloon.
- Getting High on Their Own Supply: In the ending, Chan-feng ends up getting high inhaling his entire cache of cocaine after Man-wah dumps the briefcase full of drugs on him, causing Chan-feng to go crazy and fire his M16 at everything he sees. Including passing drug addicts, civilians, policemen
- Going Cold Turkey: Man-wah, after Yung rescued him while hes high from having massive quantities pumped into his body by Chan-fengs minions, is shown shivering with a towel over his forehead and his entire body covered in sweat while trying to recover from the drugs effects.
- Guns Akimbo: Man-wah, in the final confrontation against Chan-feng and his group of drug dealers, uses dual pistols while sneaking upon the dealers.
- Heroic RRoD: Man-wah, after being outed as a mole by Chan-feng, and being put through Cold-Blooded Torture, having massive quantities of drugs injected into his body, watching his girlfriend June being flung into a pier to her death, and injected with more drugs before being dumped into the middle of a crowded street with a gun in his hand
- Hospital Epilogue: Man-wah ends the movie badly wounded but alive, being carried into an ambulance about to drive him to a hospital with Yung his Replacement Goldfish girlfriend after Junes demise accompanying him all the way.
- It's Snowing Cocaine: A rather literal example, when Man-wah, holding onto Chan-fengs entire cache of drugs and on a tall balcony with Chan-feng trying to shoot him from below, decides to simply toss the cocaine cache over the nearby railing, causing the cache to burst open and a fine snow of cocaine powder to rain all over the streets, much to Chan-fengs horror.
- I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: To be precise, its more like I Will Kill Your Girlfriend For Your Betrayal. Man-wah's girlfriend, June ends up being executed as punishment for him being a police informant.
- Mercy Kill: Chan-fengs girlfriend and accomplice, Mindy, ends up being hit by a Molotov Cocktail flung by Man-wah in the final shootout, but didnt die, although shes clearly in severe pain and agony. Chan-feng decide to end her life, just as shes in the middle of an Anguished Declaration of Love.
- Molotov Cocktail: Man-wah packs one of these in the final confrontation, and as Mindy tries tackling him while on her motorcycle, Man-wah hurls the lighted cocktail right at her blowing up her motorcycle with her still on it.
- Offing the Annoyance: After Chan-feng is forced to kill Mindy to end her agony, Chan-fengs drug supplier shouts at him on what is he going to do now that Man-wah have screwed up his deal and would potentially make him lose millions from cocaine being burnt. Chan-feng responds by shooting the supplier in a rage.Chan-feng: "SHUT UUUUPPPPP!!!" * BANG BANG BANG *
- The Mole: Man-wahs assignment as an undercover cop, is to infiltrate Chan-fengs drug trafficking syndicate while posing as a fellow trafficker. But having being a partner for Chan-feng for two years, Man-wah ends up questioning his allegiances when Chan-feng declares Man-wah to be his comrade in the drug business.
- Skewed Priorities: After Man-wah empties Chan-fengs entire supply of cocaine all over the streets of Hong Kong, scores and scores of drug addicts immediately rushes out from alleys to grab and sniff the spilled coke, completely ignoring Chan-feng whos demanding for them to back off while armed with a machine-gun. Those addicts end up dying en-masse when Chan-feng, also high from that cocaine, fires his gun indiscriminately at every addict in sight.
- Suicide by Cop: Chan-fengs eventual demise; while high on his own cache of cocaine. While he managed to gun down maybe a dozen police officers since the cocaine made him Feel No Pain, when Chan-feng runs out of ammo he ends up getting shot from all directions by policemen and dying in the middle of a rain of his own coke.
- Super Window Jump: Man-wah jumps out of an apartments top floor window after realizing Chan-feng was there before him, and had left a time bomb behind which is set to blow in seconds.