19 July 2012 | junktrashgarbage
I loved this! Kara Hui, Jimmy Wang Yu and Donnie Yen all give absolutely terrific performances, with Yen's perhaps being the best of his career. Lots of wire assist in the martial arts, but it works in the context of the film, and besides... Hui and Wang aren't exactly spring chickens, so its great to see them in anything, much less doing such fine work in such a fantastic film! Plus, as one or two others have noted, though there are martial arts in this movie, I would not exactly call this a martial arts film. Regardless, it is easily among director Peter Chan's best, Chan - of course - also being responsible for HE'S A WOMAN, SHE'S A MAN / COMRADES: ALMOST A LOVE STORY / the GOING HOME segment from THREE / and Jet Li's THE WARLORDS).
The film also stars Takeshi Kaneshiro. He portrays an investigator who humorously refuses to believe that it was simply accidental, bumbling, good luck that allowed Yen's country bumpkin, Jinxi (intentional wordplay?), to win out in a battle with two notorious murdering thugs. Instead, he believes Jinxi is hiding his martial arts skill (much as TV's Columbo would hide his intelligence), though each time he puts Jinxi to a cruel and painful test, the result is the same... Jinxi proves to be less than he seems, not more. But that's when Kara Hui and Jimmy Wang Yu enter the picture, and they too think that Jinxi is hiding his true identity, and they're willing to murder or maim his loved ones in order to force him to reveal his hand. And speaking of hands, there's a very nice homage to Wang Yu's ONE ARMED BOXER and ONE ARMED SWORDSMAN in the final chapter of this funny and dramatic film.