Sometimes I simply crave a bad movie. I have no idea why I even ordered this one (maybe I just sometimes know that deep down, Chrissie Chau is actually capable of fairly decent performances), but once I dug a little deeper, I found it to be even more intriguing for another reason – whilst it really was quite obviously a Lower common denominator movie, why on earth would award winning (for her writing at least) Director Goo-bi GC be involved? This one just had to be investigated.
As “Kick Ass Girls” kicks off, things are not going great for Boxing trainer Bao (Chrissie Chau). She has no customers, her best friend TT (Hidy Yu) has hooked up with her ex boyfriend and they have fallen out, and she has hit 30. Things start to perk up when she meets the man-hungry Miu (Dada Lo), who not only proves to be fairly decent at the old fighting stuff, but has the kind of flirty availability that attracts a bunch of horny customers. Miu is also very grateful, and works to get Bao (called Boo on IMDB and the subtitles, but my ears and seeing it written down in the film show otherwise) and TT to reconcile. However, at the critical moment the girls are attacked by a bunch of goons, and after dispatching them, it appears this was a test. Malaysian Jeweller Zhu Ge (Chris Tong) has auditioned the girls for a bodyguard gig for a couple of weeks. All the girls need the cash, so they sign up, albeit with different degrees of enthusiasm. So it is off to Kuala Lumpur, where they actually bond, visit a Male strip club, and find out the real reason they have been bought to Malaysia. Turns out, they have actually been kidnapped to take part in an underground death match fighting competition!
I think I have probably suggested enough in my synopsis to suggest this film is all over the place and doesn’t make an awful lot of sense. However, strange as this sounds, for me this is perfectly ok. Because it isn’t trying to be art, nor is it a serious kung-fu movie. What it actually is, is an old-fashioned silly nonsensical comedy that Hong Kong cinema used to produce by the bucketload pre-handover. And by taking co-finance from Malaysia rather than the Mainland, it is free from many of the shackles that have cursed similar attempts recently. Tonally it will struggle to appeal to a Western Audience – the opening half hour is a fun comedy, the middle half hour is an advert for Malaysia (with a totally surreal and unnecessary trip to a male strip bar that simply does not make sense), and the last half hour is a pretty underwhelming fight sequence that oddly ties into a Human Trafficking ring. But some of us have got used to these uneven films over the years.
If I tell you you the best acting in the movie is Chrissie Chau you will probably roll your eyes and laugh at me. But it is true. All the supporting characters are slight at best, with the exception of the rather underused Emily Lim whose Goth underling is at least important to the plot (such as it is). Dada Lo is quite possibly putting female emancipation back a few years with her character, but she is an awful lot of fun. Hidy Yu is introduced far too late for my liking, but at least she is significantly different to the other two.
Comedy wise, it is all fairly low brow. This is a film where the height of humour is that Chrissie’s boobs are bigger than Hidy’s. And that men are horny bastards. It really is that simple. There is a fair bit of knockabout slapstick, but it isn’t high quality Stephen Chow “Moy len tau”. But to be fair it is fairly giggle worthy. If you can see the humour in Chrissie Chau wiping the blood off her face after a beatdown by using the panty-liners in her bag, then you will get some chuckles here.
Visually it is actually rather good. I still have no idea what Goo-bi GC is doing making this film, but it looks fairly good, with some interesting camera work, and there’s a complexity to the film making that a film of this type probably does not deserve.
I actually rather liked it. Despite myself. One to be Mildly Recommended to others, but filed under guilty pleasures. It won’t make any best-of lists. Art it isn’t. Side-splitting it isn’t. But it is fun, and harmless enjoyable fun at that. For me it harks back to an earlier, more innocent age, and I don’t believe that is actually a bad thing at all.