Lets get to the good news first regarding this
film. A tired looking Pinky Cheung gets to go to the Philippines where
hopefully she was able to get some pool time and have herself a mini-vacation.
Two actors who I haven't seen in a new film for ages decide to show up
here. Hopefully, they also needed some down time in the Philippines as
well. Fan Siu Wong was in two famous cult films during the nineties - The
Story of Ricky and Stone Age Warriors. In both of these he showed a fairly
impressive physique along with some good martial arts moves. But he sort
of dropped out of films and has primarily done television for the past
few years. Well he is back. Another actor to drop out of the film scene
for a while is pooky faced Lily Chung (Red to Kill and Daughter of Darkness).
The good news regarding her is that she makes it through this film without
being raped, molested or beaten up! It is good to see her stretching her
thespian skills and surviving a film.
I am not sure if you would consider this good
news or bad news - but after viewing this in its entirety I feel all too
intimate with each and every pore of Roy Cheung's face. The director (who
I won't name to protect the innocent) has a fetish for microscopic close-ups
and without the budget for either good lighting or make-up we are privileged
to see every sweaty blotch on every actor's face. At one point a whitehead
pops up on his chin like a President on Mt. Rushmore and all I could do
was focus on it - and wonder if anyone was ever going to mention it to
him. Not a chance.
On a scenic tour of Manila, Fan takes Roy's sister
to the infamous trash dump and tells her how sad it is to see people pick
their way through the garbage in hopes of finding something of value to
sell. Lets say if they had come upon this film, they would have left it
right where it lay - stinking up the place. The fact that this film was
even made is somewhat sad, but that it got transferred to the DVD format
before all the great films still patiently waiting is criminal. What is
going on - open up an investigation - serve some warrants - have some lunch
– say a prayer.
The film opens promisingly with Fan Siu Wong in
jail ala Ricky and a hulking creature wants to put him in his own private
petting zoo - but a few kicks later Fan is out of jail and in the employ
of Mr. Li. Mr. Li is a triad intent on taking over Chinatown in Manila
and thinks that Fan and his partner Roy can help him do this. Now the problem
is that Fan and Roy go by the names of Shiny and Flames. Unless you were
opening an art deco retro disco, would you hire two guys called Shiny and
Flames to help you out? Mr. Li does much to his regret. Roy gets one gander
at Li's wife, Pinky (also her character's name), and decides he wants her
like a delicious turkey sandwich the day after Christmas. The fact that
Pinky spends the entire film inebriated or with her nose buried in 3 inches
of "snow" doesn't seem to bother him.
It is only a matter of time until Mr. Li is out
of the way - Pinky merely sniffs at the news of his demise - and
lovingly looks at Roy like a silver straw waiting to be inhaled. Of course
as Shakespeare observed - perhaps more discernibly than here - that the
crown does not always rest easy on the head of a king - nor does a Pinky
Shakespeare should have added. Billy Chow is a Philippino general and he
has a fight with Fan Siu Wong - which in theory could have made the film
perhaps worth watching - but they use the same quick editing style that
is used with non-action stars to make it look as if they have any idea
what they are doing. These guys do though and it's a real shame that they
didn't allow them to have some fun. The only thing to keep its integrity
in this film was unfortunately Roy's whitehead. To be avoided like a dentist
with the shakes.
My rating for this film: 2.0
Distributed by Widesight
The transfer is very average.
Cantonese and Mandarin language tracks
There are no trailers.
The subtitles are burnt on Chinese and English.