Tony Leung Ka-Fai did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Big D in Election.
Well enough with little Tony Leung let's see what big Tony Leung is capable of, fittingly as Big D. Big D is one of the men vying for the top position going against his chief rival Lam Lok (Simon Yam). Where Lam is the more reserved family man type, though not necessarily less brutal, Big D basically plays the part of the gangster to a t. Leung seems to relish this role and in turn plays the part of the gangster to a t. He's a flamboyant hot shot and Leung brings this to life with real joy in his performance. Leung goes big in the right way bringing the sort of swagger needed for the man. This is fitting to someone called Big D to begin with, as Leung makes him a man who loves the life of gangster probably more than what one technically gains from it in a monetary sense. Leung carries himself as ready for the game at the center, and from his opening scene effectively shows why Big D clearly will not simply let the vote decide who is in charge.
Big D stays as the wild card throughout the film as he tries to get the upper hand any way possible, violent or otherwise, all the while the other elder mafia members, Lam Lok, and the police try to keep things under control through other methods. Leung stands out well as the guy who perhaps is a bit outside of his depth in the whole affair, while still being an effective player because of his often ridiculous approach in his attempt to seize power. Leung brings that right sort of explosive presence to his work as any time Big D is onscreen he's all that matters. Leung technically makes him the right kind of mess of bluster as he is absolutely convincing as he man who openly attacks one of his associates as not only the police but the press are watching him.
Of course the film's flaws kind of hover around Leung who is basically in a world of his own throughout the film, as Big D just goes about doing his own thing, until just before the very end. Leung is the by far the best part of the film as he's the only real aspect of the film that "pops" so to speak. Almost all the other characters sort of fade together in part due to the rushed pace of the film, but also the lack of character moments. Leung makes Big D just about all character, and I became invested in his story mainly because he was one of the few characters who had any real life to him. Leung's work still is fairly limited, as the film is almost an ensemble piece, though I'd say Big D and Lam Lok are given enough importance to be considered lead, but this does not help the lack of refinement in the characters. Leung's infuses enough life into Big D to be the highlight of the film, but not quite enough to truly overcome the weakness of said film.