Hong Kong Digital
is a recurring series of movie reviews by John Charles -- a film
reviewer for Video Watchdog magazine and the author of The Hong
Max Mok Siu-chung. Image courtesy Universe.
Assassin Fong Hung-yiu (Max Mok Siu-chung) terminates Chu Wai, boss of the Luen Lok triad society, while the latter is in South Korea for an event. Suspecting that the perpetrator has fled the country, Interpol agent Jim (Kang Jung Sik) travels to the SAR and begins working with his HK counterpart (Danny Lee Sau-yin, dubbed by someone else) to crack the case.
Kang Jung Sik (left) and Danny Lee Sau-yin (right). Image courtesy Universe.
Meanwhile, drug addled Kim Wing-kwong (played by the unbearable Hugo Ng Toi-yung, HK cinema's most consistently terrible actor) decides to take advantage of his boss' demise and assume leadership of Luen Lok by eliminating his rivals. Kim turns out to be Fongs next assignment but he has a female competitor in Yu-ching (Joey Meng Yee-man), who is equally ruthless and in Kim's employ. The two begin a relationship via computer that may evolve into out-and-out romance but could just as likely find them pointing guns at each other.
Joey Meng Yee-man. Image courtesy Universe.
A washout on every level, ROMANCING BULLET plods along with no sense of urgency, offering virtually nothing of interest along the way. The characters are one-dimensional (Mok and Meng are not so much cool as catatonic), the proceedings constantly stop dead for listless exchanges that lead nowhere, the action choreography is pedestrian, and director Sam Ho Shu-pui (PROSTITUTE KILLERS, CONSPIRACY) has no conspicuous sense of panache. By the final third, whatever few original ideas the film possessed are long gone and we end up with a sequence copied verbatim from THE KILLER (Mok rushes an accidental victim of gunfire to the hospital for treatment, no doubt giving Danny Lee a major sense of deja vu in the process!). Hui Shiu-hung (also dubbed by another actor) also appears briefly in this bottom shelf effort, a prime example of HK formula product at its worst.
Danny Lee. Image courtesy Universe.
Hugo Ng Toi-yung. Image courtesy Universe.