The Legend of a Professional


There are just enough off kilter moments to keep this film somewhat interesting for a while, but only barely. It is yet one more story covering that favorite Hong Kong mystical character – the professional killer. There is a certain coolness about these enigmatic assassins – an aloofness, a sense of fatalism and most importantly - usually good fashion sense that defines and romanticizes them.
There is nothing particularly romantic about Anthony Wong’s professional killer in this film though. He is more of a working man’s killer – a regular Joe - nothing flashy – no slow-mo killings – no leaping in mid air and firing - he gets a contract from his deep in the bottle agent, Law Koon-lan, and does it. Punches the clock, kills someone, punches out. To him it’s just a job; no different than driving a cab – but with better hours. He lives in a small apartment and worries about his mother. His mother, Helen Law Lan, lives in Vietnam, but keeps tabs on her son and worries whether he will ever get married. Immediately after one of his contracts has been fulfilled – Wong answers his cell phone and it is his mother telling him she is coming to Hong Kong to visit and wants to meet his girlfriend.
Of course, Wong’s girlfriend is a fiction to make her happy and now he has to come up with a real one. He holds auditions. He advertises in the paper for an actress and after rejecting a number of raggedy looking women, Josie Ho stumbles into his studio in her short spiky hair on the run from debt collectors  - the not very nice kind – and Wong wants her out like yesterday’s newspaper. But mom calls and tells him she has come early – so Anthony reluctantly takes on Josie as his pretend girlfriend.
Surprisingly love doesn’t really bloom – though a grudging respect does – and when Josie learns about his means of support she wants in. He gives her a little surprise quiz – and when she survives he takes her on as an apprentice. Not too surprisingly, Josie realizes she has found the one thing that she is very good at. Soon the two of them are very busy.
The one thing that made me pick up this DVD as opposed to the myriad of other low budget Anthony Wong films that have been spewing out like sewage from a broken water pipe was a picture of Josie aiming a sniper rifle on the back cover and dressed in a school uniform on the front! Her quiet intense killer in Purple Storm was easily the best thing about that film and I have looked forward to more action roles for her. The action in this film is less than well done – but I have to say that Anthony and Josie make for a cute killing couple. It all plays out a bit slowly and without a lot of style – and it hits a number of cliches near the end with a dull thud – but at least both Anthony and Josie are center stage for the entire film and give solid performances.

My rating for this film: 5.5



DVD Information:

Distributed by Universe

The transfer is Ok - acceptable for a low budget film like this.

Letterboxed

Cantonese and Mandarin language tracks

There is a trailer for this film and ones for The Cheaters, Accidental Spy and Hit Team.

The subtitles are Chinese or English.

Star files on Anthony, Josie and Law Lan.

BTW - the blurb on the back is totally incorrect about the plot of this film.