21 October 2014 | Leofwine_draca
Typical action comedy enlivened by an on-form Sammo
SKINNY TIGER, FATTY DRAGON is a film that's made in the mould of the LUCKY STARS movies, featuring plenty of comedy mixed with action spills on the frenetic streets of Hong Kong. This one features genre stalwart Sammo Hung as a by-the-book cop who teams up with maverick Karl Maka (MAD MISSION) to tackle a ruthless criminal gang who have a habit of bumping off anybody who dares to cross them.
What this all leads to is a series of set-pieces, some of them martial arts focused, some of them featuring some very broad comedy indeed, and others that successfully mix the two genres in one (the car chase, for instance, which is very well achieved). Some of the gags are a little too much for Western audiences (the violence and sexual assaults against women in particular) but others hit the spot nicely.
The martial arts stuff is inevitably fine, most of it left to Sammo who wipes the floor with his enemies with a level of finesse that most slim martial artists would struggle to achieve. I could have done without the silly dubbed-in Bruce Lee noises on the soundtrack every time he fights, but there you go. Karl Maka is on strong form here too, not too annoying as the dedicated cop determined to sort out both the bad guys and his love life along the way.
All in all there's little to dislike, whether it's the familiar faces (including femme fatale Carrie Ng) to the explosive stunts and high class fisticuffs. It all works to a formula but it's an effective formula and one that's guaranteed to wring every drop of excitement and humour from the premise. Not one of the genre classics then, but not bad at all either.