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September 8th, 2000 Issue #8

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 Kong Filmography.

My Loving Trouble 7
(1999): 5/10

Cover art courtesy China Star.

Ngo oi 777

Wo ai 777

I Love 777

Hsu Chi. Image courtesy China Star.

Secret agent Julia (Hsu Chi) arrives in HK for her latest mission, which has been set up by her boyfriend, fellow agent Andy (DOWNTOWN TORPEDOES' Ken Wong Hap-hei). Fed up with her hazardous profession and still haunted by the death of her friend Sandra on the last assignment, Julia is determined to leave the organization and live life as a normal woman. Consequently, she is less than thrilled to discover that her new partner is Candy (Tien Hsin, who looks like a younger version of Diana Pang Dan and is dubbed by someone else in the Cantonese version), a big-breasted ditz from Taiwan, who seems far more like a club girl than a trained killer.

Tien Hsin. Image courtesy China Star.

Patrick Tam Yiu-Man (left) and Ken Wong Hap-Hei (right). Image courtesy China Star.

If Candy weren't enough of an annoyance, Julia has been caught on film by love-starved commercial director James (aka Jim See-bon, and played by Patrick Tam Yiu-man), who becomes obsessed with tracking her down. When Julia gives him a black eye, it merely strengthens James' resolve and he moves in across the street with his two dim-witted buddies (who have the hots for Candy). Thanks to a misheard conversation, James comes to believe that the two girls are hookers and that Julia has been a "professional" since she was 12. Julia and Candy go through with their assignment, stealing a computer disc, but it becomes clear that they have been set up and Julia's mentor (Jackson Liu Hsiu-hsien) may be behind it all.

Jackson Liu Hsiu-hsien. Image courtesy China Star.

Directed by veteran screenwriter James Yuen Sai-sang (whose credits include HE'S A WOMAN, SHE'S A MAN, A MOMENT OF ROMANCE, and TOM, DICK AND HAIRY), MY LOVING TROUBLE 7 is a pretty desperate enterprise, relying mainly on hackneyed jokes about brainless horny guys, "fever" happy bimbos, itching powder, and laxatives hidden in orange juice. The espionage components are completely unbelievable, even as these films go (Julia's target is the American Investment Corporation: juggle the first letter in each word for the company's real identity), and the climactic twist has been done dozens of times before but everything somehow manages to remain light and likeable enough for it all to be mildly entertaining. Regardless, only the most rabid Hsu Chi fans will find this to be worth anything more than a rental on a slow evening. Michael Tse Tin-wah, Kristy Yang Gong-ru, Spencer Lam Sheung-yee (playing yet another priest), and Sandra Ng Kwan-yu also put in appearances.

Hsu Chi and Tien Hsin. Image courtesy China Star.

DVD Specs:

China Star #CF50146D
Dolby Digital mono (2.0)
Cantonese and Mandarin language tracks
Optional subtitles in English and Traditional Chinese
9 chapters illustrated in the menu with still frames
Letterboxed (1.80:1)
Coded for ALL Regions
Category IIA
103 minutes

DVD menu courtesy China Star.
The image is a little dull, with subdued colours, but the print is clean and the presentation is good overall. The Cantonese track (sync sound) has a light level of hiss throughout, while the Mandarin track is crisper but also occasionally breaks up on the high end. The English subtitles (which even cover the footage that runs under the end credits) are generally good but tend to put quotation marks around some sentences, apparently to delineate different speakers (though not with any degree of consistency), which takes a little getting used to. A deceptive theatrical trailer (which makes Tam look like he is the one playing the suave secret agent) is the only extra and the box lists an incorrect running time of "88.89 min."


Copyright © John Charles 2000. All Rights Reserved.

Hong Kong Digital is presented in association with Hong Kong Entertainment News In Review