Michael Hui plays his character with such a casual,
playful and slightly bemused attitude that it almost feels as if he has
invited the viewer into his home and is putting on a show for them. His
humor has been referred to as “deadpan cool” and that neatly describes
it – sort of a “button down” HK Bob Newhart. Just sit back, relax and allow
Hui to put on some skits for you – some fall a little flat, most are amusing
and a few are classics. The comedy in this film is a lot like Hui – subtle,
underplayed and it feels like it has a twinkle in its eye. The film starts
off slowly, but as the characters take on form the comedy becomes more
cohesive and enjoyable. The charm of the film slowly creeps up on you and
by the end a real affection for the characters has grown.
Though it often feels as if the plot is simply
a loosely structured narrative for Hui to perform some comedic routines,
there are actually a few effective sentimental moments and some dramatic
ones as well. Hui is an Inspector in the police force (the name Inspector
Chocolate comes from the character’s liking of candy), but has been stuck
at the same level for a number of years and he is usually on the outs with
his superior – Roy Chiao. His career is not being furthered much by his
bumbling, constantly eating assistant - played by his brother Ricky Hui.
He realizes that his career has really hit its
nadir when Chiao first assigns him the missing people and cat unsolved
cases – and then puts his inexperienced daughter (Anita Mui) under his
command. Anita Mui gives a sweet and loopy performance as a policewoman
usually more concerned with winning the 1986 Miss Hong Kong contest that
she has entered than in her police duties. Chiao has warned Hui that if
even so much as a hair on his daughters head is hurt and her chances for
the Miss HK crown are damaged, Hui will be castrated! Needless to say by
the end of the film, Anita looks as if she has been in a stock car rally
(but Hui still seems intact!).
One of Sibelle Hu’s twin sons has gone missing
and Hui and crew stumble their way through the case in their attempts to
get to the bottom of it. Sibelle who usually plays a tough “girls with
guns” character is terrific as the distraught and heart broken mother.
There are a number of small enjoyable moments
– Hui combing his hair with a cactus or smiling his way through a scolding
from Chiao so that he doesn’t lose face from onlookers, but two scenes
in particular had me in stitches. One is when Anita is practicing how she
will react when it is announced that she is the winner and both Hui brothers
start giving her advice – and another scene when Michael is disguised as
a female midget who at one point steals a bottle of milk from a baby. It’s
just an easygoing comedy that should have you feeling pretty good by the
My rating for this film: 7.5
Distributor - Universe
The transfer is terrific.
Letterbox - in fact very much so! (I confess
to not knowing how to measure the ratio)
Trailer plus previews for Happy Ding Dong,
A Family Affair and The Legend of Wisely
Subs -English, Chinese and Bahasa Malaysian
Subs are on black border underneath the picture.
Star files on Michael Hui and Anita Mui.
A few facts they give on Anita. She was born
on October 10th 1963 and gave her first singing performance at the age
of 6 (which makes Who's the Woman, Who's the Man a bit autobiographical!).
Her first breakthrough was winning the HK Young Talents Singing Contest
and she went on to become one of the most popular singers in Asia - being
known as the "Madonna of Asia" or "Hundred changing Mui Yin Fong" - for
her many image as well as costume changes. Her film debut was in 1983 -
"Mad Mad 83" and she has gone on to make over 30 films - winning Best Actress
for "Rouge" and Best Supporting Actress for "Eighteen Springs".