Broad Outline: Chow plays An, a simple delivery boy who accidental comes between the (unwanted) advances of a Judo teacher (Joe Cheng) and the pretty Lily (Christy Chung). When it comes to fighting though, he is rejected by Lily for being a bit of a coward. An decides to learn kung fu, but is taken in by conman Tat (Ng Man Tat) who is only interested in taking his money. However, An is given confidence if not skill by his lessons, and manages to beat the judo master (whilst wearing a Garfield mask). However, his thunder is stolen when Lau (Lam Kwok-bun), an old flame of Lily’s, turns up. This guy is a Judo Master and pretends he is the masked hero. Not only does he win Lily’s heart, it turns out he is a complete arse, and has a connection to Tat – who really was an expert martial artist. A challenge is proffered, and An and Lau get involved in a televised duel. At stake? Honour, An’s life, and hopefully Lily’s heart.
Stephen is a Dick Level: I am giving this a 1/10. An is actually a really nice guy in this one. In fact, he is the only nice person in the whole film. Even Lily is a fairly unlikable cow-bag for a good portion of the movie.
Mo Lei Tau Quota: I am going to say this is probably a 7/10. There are plenty of scenes that clearly are going to be hilarious in cantonese, but translate awfully. But to be fair, there are only a few scene which seem to come from nowhere. And the first scene as the Garfield Masked Character is utterly hilarious. The anti-Japanese subtext probably plays better to the local audience, and it helps if you know who Ultraman is for one particular repeated visual gag. The Terminator parody at the beginning is actually rather excellent.
Sing Girl Status: Christy Chung is certainly pretty, and you have to give her credit for actually not being able to speak a word of cantonese (I have read she was either dubbed, or just learned her line phonetically). Strangely, the Canadian born model/actress is 3/4 Vietnamese, but has a very classic 90’s Hong Kong Look about her. Her character is somewhat ballsy, but eventually fairly unmemorable.
Is it Any Good?: Yes. It’s actually REALLY good. I wasn’t expecting much from this one, but it delivered a lot of genuine belly laughs here. Some of the jokes fall flat (maybe it’s just me, but I never find dog poo on the hand terribly funny), but it has way more hits than misses. The change of villain half-way through really works to energise the film just before it gets tiresome. And there is also something charming about a film that’s about fighting that actually suggests punching and kicking back are not always the best way to respond. Highly Recommended.