19 February 2013 | mariecx
Fun movie. Glimpses of what could be.
I agree with other reviews here that it's not Sammo's best, but there are some good points. Definitely acceptably entertaining with great action, just not enough of it.
It is a bit Sammo-indulgent. Focuses a lot on a sparking relationship between Sammo and the sweet young lady pursuing him (Kathy Chow). Which is charming, but could have been cut down a whole lot and replaced with more action which this movie is begging for. And you've got Sammo, Yuen Biao (also being pursued by a girl, but for something a whole lot less meaningful!) and Takeshi Kaneshiro in the same movie and Sammo is the one you show half naked in bed? hmm.
We spend way too much time in the police station, which is pretty slow-moving most of the time. One of the highlights is when Sammo and Yuen Biao get into a fight. That one is well done and looks pretty painful! The tension between their characters works well and I think it would have been a better move if they were kept that way through most of the movie. Anything that happens out on the street is action-packed and pretty sweet.
On the acting side, everyone is in fine form except the guys who are supposed to be the Americans. I often think that is intentional though. Americans rarely come off well in any Chinese film I've ever seen, and as an American I take no offense at that. Generally Americans are presented as arrogant, rude and aggressive, and often badly acted. I kinda get why, but something different once in awhile would not be a bad thing. I do find the sweet, sensitive side of Sammo charming, but small doses of this are plenty. There's way too much of it here. Takeshi Kaneshiro should have had twice the screen time. He's great in all his scenes and should have and could have easily been worked into a lot more of the action. Yuen Biao is excellent as always and gets to show some range from rough and bitter early on (including some rarely seen but bitchin' facial hair), to an adorable and sweet romantic (which sadly doesn't last too long), with great little doses of his special brand of slightly-psycho-comedy all along the way.
As pointed out in other reviews here, the 'negroes' stuff (closer to the end) is rather cringe-worthy. Maybe it comes across entirely differently to Asian audiences, as the history between races in America is very different than in other parts of the world. But to Americans at least, the attempted humor there is oh so wrong.
Overall enjoyable, great for an afternoon of light fare. Or your B-movie before your feature if you're doing a movie night.