Double Fixation

Going into nearly any film the viewer has to be willing to suspend belief to some degree and often be willing to accept some film cliches. This is perhaps even more true with many HK films because they often employ amazing leaps of logic or have scripts that leave enormous plot holes for the director to try and dig himself out of in the two week production time. But there are limits to which a viewer should not be willing to go – and this film simply pushes the credibility factor beyond any reasonableness. One would have to believe the world was the size of my NY apartment for all the coincidences to take place as they do and that the characters were all dropped on their heads at birth. I sat there watching the plot unfold with growing disbelief at how inept it was and what a waste of the talents of Cherie Chung, Jacky Cheung, Paul Chun Pui and Pauline Wong it was.
And yet for the first five minutes I had hopes! A crystal orb is stolen from a safe and then sold to an antique dealer, Chun Pui. This orb seems to have some magical powers as it flashes and dazzles when the lights are turned off. But it is never revealed what they are and why everyone is after it. OK – I can accept this – a McGuffin as Hitchcock termed it is a well-known cinematic device – used recently in Pulp Fiction. It is used simply to get the story going. Now Chun Pui needs pictures of this orb to show someone else interested in buying the stolen property and like all fences do he hires a random commercial photographer  - Jacky Cheung – to come to his house and take pictures. What a wonderful idea – creating photographic evidence of your crime and a witness to boot!
Now on the way to Chun Pui’s house Jacky spots Cherie on the street and snaps her picture and later puts it on his wall. Jackie then takes some pictures of the orb and after finishing goes to visit a friend in a gallery where sure enough Cherie is standing about. Again he snaps a picture. There are some other villains out to get the orb – and their main instrument of death is Pauline Wong. I am getting to like Pauline the more I see her. She has an air about her that gives the promise of a touch of sleaze, a taste of sex and an edge of danger. Her smile is simply wicked and inviting.
Well, she gets the orb – and then for some reason finds it necessary to also get the negatives from Jacky – why this is important we never find out – and develops this ridiculously elaborate plan to get them. Maybe they should have just asked him first! But no – lets frame him for a murder – send him on the run – and mess with his mind. So he comes home to find a dead body in his studio – of course he doesn’t call the police – but starts running like hell – a few people chase after him – and he runs into a club. And who should be sitting there? Take a wild guess. Yes, Cherie Chung – and is she involved somehow in all of this? – take another wild guess!
And it only gets worse – at one point thinking that Cherie is dead Jacky departs grief stricken for San Francisco – and whom should he run into there? No don’t even guess any more! By then my finger was edging towards the fast forward button and it was all I could do to stop myself. Everyone in this film is an idiot – Jackie would not be able to spot a setup if he were sitting on it. Perhaps the only stupider people are ones like myself who watched it all the way through!

Not to be completely negative – both Pauline and Cherie looked fabulous - though the above poster picture of Cherie in the swimsuit does not actually take place. Ah, that’s it – maybe there is another version out there in which all this would be explained and make perfect sense – sure – and its right next to the tooth fairy!

My rating for this film: 4.0