Thursday, December 31, 2009
TIGER ON THE BEAT
An example of everything that is brilliant and horrifyingly wrong with Hong Kong cinema.
The slight "Hilariously mismatched cops stop cocaine ring " plot line is anchored by the always revelatory Chow Yun-Fat playing a comedy coward that's teamed up with the stiff as a board Conan Lee (An arrogant martial arts non-star that was blacklisted TWICE in Hong Kong). The partners get into the requisite wildly dangerous stunt sequences that must have killed at least one or two lower paid stuntmen. Highlights a shotgun on a string gag, painful kneecap popping high falls and a crazed final martial arts chainsaw duel. Famed old school maestro Lau Kar Leung directs/choreographs the action with his usual perfectly timed flare.
It's expected to get tons of lame duck comedy and thudding cringe worthy drama (You do here in spades) but on the horrifying wrong side of things you get a woman being beaten, thrown head first through a glass table, choked with corn flower ("It's not cocaine" Chow's character sneers "But it'll kill you anyway") and drowned in a bathtub. After all this abuse, Chow throws her a towel and the audience is supposed to believe that she has HOPELESSLY FALLEN IN LOVE WITH HIM. A love so deep that she'd happily become Chow's human bullet shield in the final act.
But it has good action scenes!