Pop open the cold champagne! Christy Chung is
back on the big screen. OK – so maybe you weren’t even aware that she hadn’t
been in a film since 1997 – but all the same I am glad to see her once
again. HK films need all the star power they can get these days and Christy
was always more of a media star than an actress anyway. Over the last three
years she has been taking care of her baby girl, having problems with her
ex(?) - husband and being a spokesperson for a chain of fitness centers
This film might seem like an odd choice for her
to return to. It’s not a typical Christy Chung romantic/comedy role – but
instead it is a dark action film with plot themes that mildly echo The
Killer. Christy takes on the Sidney role to Simon Yam’s ultra efficient
professional killer. She hires Simon to make numerous hits – but knows
that at the end she will be ordered to silence him.
The film gets off to a quick if convoluted
start – and within seven minutes of running time it has switched locales
from the Chinese/Burma border to Hong Kong to Manila back to Hong Kong
and finally to Seoul where most of the film takes place. I imagine this
is a HK/Korea co-production and there are a number of Korean actors in
the cast though the VCD is all in Chinese.
The confusing beginning initially lends the
film a semblance of intriguing mystery – who is behind Christy – why is
Simon being ordered to kill over a dozen men – why was Simon’s wife murdered
– but as the film finally begins to jell it also takes on a fairly mundane
nature. The script also lets it down with numerous instances in which the
characters magically seem to know things that beg explanation – how do
the bad guys know where Simon is hiding out – how do the cops know his
name – and what on earth was the opening war scene from 1992 all about?
Simon is pretty solid here as a killer looking
for an explanation of his wife’s murder – even when having to recite dialogue
such as “I only trust my gun. Though I trust my gun, I don’t love it”.
Whether he sleeps with it goes unanswered. During a hit, a woman is wounded
and Simon takes her to the hospital. Soon he has the bad guys after him
as well as a pair of relentless Korean cops – and he has to turn to the
wounded woman for help. For some inexplicable reason – other than Simon
helping get her cat down from the roof – she is willing to sacrifice everything
for him. I know Simon is charismatic and all, but still this was a bit
There is a decent shoot out in the end
- though how the bad guys with enough firepower to start a small war manage
to miss Simon is a mystery – and in the final moments there is a nice homage
to “A Hero Never Dies”.
The film has a decent beginning and a good ending
with a lot of filler in between. Christy is fine – whether involved in
a point blank gun exchange or in a locked lipped lesbian kiss. One annoying
thing was that I think other actors dubbed both her and Simon and at times
the mouths and voices were not very well synched. Vincent Wan also co-stars
as one of the bad guys.
My rating for this film: 5.5