24 August 2005 | ChungMo
Variation on a "My Young Auntie" theme
Essentially a reworking of Liu Chia Liang's earlier comedy "My Young Auntie".
The setting is Hong Kong of the early 1980's and revolves around a failing traditional Hung Ga kung fu school. This time Kara Hui is playing the daughter of the school's ailing grandmaster who is living in the United States. She arrives in Hong Kong to represent her father for the opening of the new school building. Unfortunately she is "Americanized", dresses like an aerobics instructor and causes a lot of trouble when she tries to modernize the training. Liu Chia Liang plays the head Sifu of the Hong Kong school, playing essentially the same part he did in "My Young Auntie". The trouble starts when Kara Hui teaches the "wrong people".
Liang seems out of his element here as his film style doesn't fit well with contemporary settings. The comedy comes off as just stupid instead of stupid fun. Like "MYA" most of the fights are compressed to the end with lots of "comedy" padding the whole thing out. Some of the bits are not PC at all. Scenes with interesting stuff like "disco kung fu" are too short and the "plot" doesn't get going until about an hour into the film.
On the plus side, the cast looks like they are having fun. There are good scenes (check out the "bike kung fu") and the final confrontation is up to Liang's usual high standard. There is a strange self- consciousness at the end I won't describe here but it works since we get to see Liu-Chia Hui and Hou Hsiao in good form.
Worth a look but "My Young Auntie" is a better film.