Movie Details

With the rising international popularity of Asian filmmaker Sammo Hung, it may be surprising that this fast-paced action-comedy -- which he not only produced, directed, and choreographed, but also contains one of his most amusing starring roles -- has not seen wider distribution outside Hong Kong. Surprising, that is, until one gets to the final third of the film, which proves that the sociocultural gap between nations can often be huge. The story begins as veteran police officer Pierre Lau (Hung) is partnered with an uptight young cop named Tang (Takeshi Kaneshiro) who, in standard buddy-movie fashion, disagrees with him on almost everything. Pierre also has difficulties with overly eager customs official Wong Yuk-man (Yuen Biao), but the trio must forget their problems and work together when a group of Japanese drug dealers bomb the local police station. The action scenes are impressively staged, particularly a drug raid on the station by the criminals disguised as agents of the SDU (Hong Kong's equivalent of a SWAT team), but Western viewers may still be highly offended by the film's humor. The problematic sequence involves Tang and Wong wearing blackface in order to convince some black criminals that they are also black. The scene plays on every conceivable racist stereotype so blatantly that it makes enjoyment of the entire film problematic, but viewers able to overlook it should find the rest of the film entertaining, particularly the plethora of cameos by familiar faces like Blackie Ko, Wu Ma, Billy Lau, Melvin Wong, and Lau Kar-wing, among others. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi