Love on Delivery

I knew I was back on safe ground again as soon as the camera zooms in on Stephen Chow kneeling down naked yes I recognized this - a parody of The Terminator. After recently watching three of his earlier dramatic films, I was in desperate need of a few laughs and this film definitely provided them. There is not a serious moment to be seen in this film and it feels fine.
There is not much of a story here just your basic love triangle fight to the death kind of thing but Chow builds a number of funny routines around it. In some ways the film is a bit too dependent on gags and silliness with the flimsiest of plots, but it was just what I was in the mood for.

Christie Chung is a student at a judo school where the oafish instructor keeps hitting on her. To teach him a lesson, she pretends to be interested in a simple food delivery boy, Stephen Chow. Looking into those large brown eyes, Chow is instantly smitten and does everything he can to win her hand even go through a hilarious scene where he takes his life into his hands by trying to buy Jackie Cheung tickets.

The judo instructor picks a fight with Chow and the result is that Christie thinks that Stephen is a coward which he very sensibly is. So he turns to Ng Man-Tat to instruct him in the ways of Traditional Chinese Boxing. NMT is a bit of a con man or is he?
Finally, Chow thinks he is ready and in a hilarious fight takes on the instructor in a Garfield mask. Chow uses the Invincible Wind and Fire Wheel to defeat his opponent, but his problems are just beginning. An even tougher opponent enters the scene as a rival and this leads to one of the most ridiculous and funny fights ever. You have to witness round 3 to believe it.

This film pokes fun at a variety of targets from journalism to television to advertising and anything else that gets in its way. This is a favorite Chow film of lots of people and though I would not rank it in his top echelon of films, this sweet very amusing film is well worth watching.

My rating for this film:  7.5

Reviewed by YTSL

The Terminator, Ultraman, the Karate Kid, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Garfield the Cat, all kinds of martial arts (kungfu, karate, judo, kendo, Western-style boxing, etc.), traditional staple jokes ("Waiter, there's a fly in my soup!").  All of them -- and so much more! are fair game for Stephen Chow to incorporate into as well as touch upon in his particular brand of comedy and parody in this 1994 Chinese New Year offering.

LOVE ON DELIVERY's protagonist (portrayed by Chow, of course) is an earnest as well as honest love-struck delivery boy who aspires to become a martial hero to win the woman (played by a very popular actress, if the statistics for this web site are to be believed!) he adores.  Although he tries to win the judo expert's (yes, I am referring here to Christy Chung!) affection by doing such as procuring hard-to-get Cantopop concert tickets, she is fixated on finding a certain male archetype that he, at least early on in the film, clearly does not conform to.  Worse, a series of events conspire to make her conclude that he is a coward (when he really seems to be just a very nice, giving guy).  At the point when he is truly down in the dumps, he gets acquainted with a petty grocer (who comes in the form of frequent Chow movie collaborator, Ng Man Tat) who teaches him a special -- how special it is the viewer will see for him- or herself later in the movie -- brand of kung fu on the side...

Thus far, this review of LOVE ON DELIVERY probably does not depart too far from many others.  At the very least, I think this shows that I (too) did "get" this undemanding movie's basic storyline, multitude of references and such.  This (re)viewer also can understand some people's description of this inoffensive work as one of the more even of Stephen Chow's efforts; in that there are way fewer sudden changes of emotion between scenes here as in, say, "King of Comedy" and less doubt as to whether there really are parts in the film which we are supposed to take fairly seriously, as was so with "Royal Tramp" I (and maybe also II). This admitted neophyte with regards to the movies of Stephen Chow (this is only the sixth I've seen) additionally already realizes that they largely exist to amuse and entertain rather than make serious and profound statements about most anything.

To be sure, someone who watched her share of Japanese cartoons in her youth found it very clever that with not much more than a crescent-shaped piece of cardboard and two halves of a boiled egg, a man could be made to so obviously bring to mind THE Ultraman!  And, yes, a certain -- somewhat inexplicable and surely unusual -- amount of amusement was derived from the sight of a Garfield masked and hooded man striking a seriously heroic pose.  This (re)viewer was even touched by the improbable warrior's greatest strength being his endurance and ability to withstand -- rather than hand out -- punishment.  But I will be honest (and brave the wrath of the number of Stephen Chow fans out there, who surely must exceed that for Christy Chung!) and admit that all this still doesn't take away from it being so that this unsubstantial piece left me feeling insufficiently (emotionally, not just intellectually) satiated post- viewing.

Neither -- perhaps most damning of all -- was there any one thing or moment in LOVE ON DELIVERY that prompted me to guffaw or reduced me to hysterics the way there was in "King of Comedy" (my favorite Stephen Chow movie thus far) or even "All's Well, End's Well" (another Chinese New Year film which benefits from the presence of Chow as well as a whole bunch of other respected stars).  And I include here the inexplicable and surely unintentional resemblance that I kept on seeing between the meanest and hardest -- and also wooden-expressioned and -mannered -- villain of this piece and a certain American politician who people have likened to a tree trunk...

My rating for this film:  6.5