So I actually found the time to sneak out and catch this movie. Why? Because blood-and-gore defines the shifting boundaries of 'civilized' standards. Whereas the initial Election was extremely violent, it was not bloody. When the main triad character (portrayed by Simon Yam) picked up a rock and bashed the head of his rival for gang leadership multiple times, there was no visible blood; when he then went after the rival's wife with a shovel, there was no visible blood either. But Election 2 (sub-titled Harmony Is A Virtue) made up for all that, because it was extremely bloody.
The following is the narration of the most bloody section of Election 2.
The election of the triad leader for the next two years is reduced to a fight between Ah Lok (portrayed by Simon Yam) and Jimmy (portrayed by Louis Koo). While Jimmy is favored by the elders because his financial acumen allowed everybody to make money, Ah Lok has kidnapped Jimmy's major financial backer Mr. Kwok and is demanding that Jimmy quit the race. Besides, Jimmy's business prospects in mainland China have dimmed considerably after the deputy director of the Guangdong Provincial Ministry of Public Security told him that the mainland "Uncles" will only deal with a triad leader who can control his organization. So Jimmy has no choice but to kill Ah Lok and then get elected. That is the backdrop.
What is so hard about that? Jimmy has already hired a top-flight assassin. But Jimmy has qualms about killing Ah Lok himself (either personally, or through his subordinates or hired helpers). So he must establish plausible deniability -- the murder must be conducted by Ah Lok's own trusted aides. The first step is to kidnap the trusted bodyguards of Ah Lok. These people are then thrown into separate jail cells where they are each chained next to a hungry attack dog. Frightening, but not frightening enough. The prisoners are taken out individually and beaten (like slamming a sledgehammer to their hands and bodies). Nothing works. Nobody would cooperate. And time is running out for Mr. Kwok who is incarcerated inside a coffin.
So Jimmy takes matters in his own hands. Literally. He takes one of the prisoners, kills him and then proceeds to chop up the body into small pieces. Then he takes the body parts and feeds them through a meat grinder. All of this is done in full view of the prisoners. Then the bloody ground meat is fed on a bowl to the hungry attack dog chained to each prisoner. All the prisoners break down. They agree to Jimmy's demands and they kill Ah Lok.
Now it is election time. The lone triad elder who is still opposed to Jimmy makes a demand: "I want you to swear that you did not kill Ah Lok." Jimmy says with a clear conscience: "I didn't kill Ah Lok." So Jimmy is elected.
At this point, I have to say that I am skeptical. Triad members are shown to engage in all manners of activities, such as CD/VCD/DVD piracy, extortion, protection rackets, prostitution rings, heroin/cocaine/drug dealing, murders (including your sworn brothers and sisters) and so on without any moral qualms. Yet triad members somehow have difficulty with lying, even on a simple yes/no question? DUH!!!???
Previously, I had also remarked on my skepticism about the original Election (see Triad Movies in Hong Kong) as well.
Am I right on this score?
Most probably not, because the counter-argument comes simply as the presence of a certain individual as the executive producer of Election 2. It can be assumed that this individual knows much more about how triads operate than I ever will. I have nothing more to say at this point. If you are perplexed, you can try to google that individual ...