LADY COP AND PAPA CROOK: Sammi's Back
LADY COP AND PAPA CROOK (crime drama)
Cast: Sammi Cheng, Eason Chan, Michelle Ye, Chapman To and Kate Tsui
Directors: Felix Chong and Alan Mak
Time: 97 mins
Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 4)
WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL: The big deal is that this is actress-singer Sammi Cheng's first feature film after a three-year absence from the Hong Kong cinema scene. Her last film was 'Everlasting Regret' in 2005. Her fans may be thrilled but she does look more matured and rather rusty at her craft.
Also, while the title gives one the impression that 'Lady Cop And Papa Crook' is a comedy, it is not. It is basically a crime thriller with occasional but rather lame lapses into comedy.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT? Eason Chan is John Fok, the boss of a diesel smuggling ring in Hong Kong and China. When an oil tanker explodes during a police car chase, John becomes the focus of investigation by the Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese police and is forced to put his business on hold and wait it out. Just when John is planning on a comeback, his son is kidnapped.
This brings us to Inspector Maureen Szeto (Sammi Cheng) who heads the investigation into the boy's kidnapping and gets tangled in John's murky past and criminal affairs. I suppose if one is looking for comedy, one may find it in Maureen's love life. She has a 10-year relationship with her sculpture boyfriend who seems to be behaving like an idiot. Our concern is how she could put up with him for so long.
HITS AND MISSES: Story flow and plot development are uneven. Having two directors do not seem to have helped matters. Every now and then, the characters seem to break out into a brawl - ostensibly to liven up the movie when the police probe starts to get dull.
Eason and Sammi manage to give the movie a few tensed and comic moments but the kidnap plot is so flawed that even they could not save it. Also, there is no English subtitles for those whose understanding of Cantonese and Mandarin is below the mark (like yours truly) - and a cameo by Richie Jen looks like the film-makers are doing him a favour but it adds nothing to the movie.
THE LOWDOWN: Stay with Mama and have a Happy New Year!