Chocolate Inspector

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.
Michael Hui and Roy Chiao
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.
Michael and 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 end.

My rating for this film: 7.5



DVD Information:

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".