Dangerous Duty

If you have ever had the desire to see Diana Pang Dan lick a poached egg or run through the streets of HK in her underwear, this may be the film for you! Pang Dan has some fun in this film and to a degree she takes the audience along with her. I can’t say I was expecting a whole lot from this film – it doesn’t even rate a review in the HK Database – and it was a while before I even realized that the whole film was basically a put on (at least I am hoping!). Once I did though, I found myself quite enjoying this silly little goof of a film.

With Pang Dan you can never really be sure if she is trying to be sexy or is just doing a parody of being sexy – it’s always kind of borderline with her. I will give her the benefit of the doubt and say that her sexy performance here is meant to be ludicrously silly as she goes from licking poached eggs to a Basic Instinct parody to a Chungking Express skit to a bizarre and yet somewhat arousing dance number to wearing skirts that must have been painted on with a fine brush. Through all of this though she maintains a loopy grin that signals to the audience that this is all in jest.

 Max Mok is heading up a group of three cops who protect witnesses. They are assigned to guard Pang Dan around the clock, as she was the secretary to some cigarette smuggler. This is considered "dangerous duty"! Guard Pang Dan 24/7? Those poor guys! Let me help you out. It turns out that initially Pang Dan is the witness from hell as she whines about everything and gets them involved in bar room brawls and searching for sanitary napkins, but she soon mellows out and joins in on the fun.
At the same time the smuggler has hired a professional killer – Tsui Kam-Kong – who does his best Leon impersonation and is soon on to their hideout. Here I have to give the writers credit for coming up with a clever way to get Pang Dan down to her underwear. The bad guys have attached a homing device to her shoe – and Mok somehow guesses that someone in the group has one planted on them just before Tsui fires a missile at them. So Mok has everyone start stripping – but Pang Dan is sure they are doing this only to get her out of her clothes (perhaps she has seen a few Lucky Star films!).  Eventually she complies and has to jump out the window just as the missile hits – and then they go downtown shopping only in their undies.
With their safehouse blown they find refuge in a cheap coffee shop and soon Pang Dan is behind the counter doing her best Faye Wong wiggle (no California Dreaming unfortunately!) to which the three cops ask quizzically “why is she dancing like an idiot behind the counter?”. In an inspired choice of actors Bobby Yip comes up to her in police uniform and asks for a “chef salad” and has a totally nonsensical dialogue with Pang Dan. After this completely out of place Chungking Express parody, this film had me. When Mok later hypnotizes Pang Dan and has her do a musical number that is part exotic dance crossed with various cheerleader routines, it was pure icing on the cake.
Mind you all this time Tsui is trying to kill her – but everyone is almost having too much fun to notice. There are a few action scenes that are pretty average going – though the para-gliding attack is fairly nifty – but it is really the chemistry between the group and the tongue in cheek humor that made this much more that I had anticipated.

My rating for this film: 6.5