Hong Kong Digital
is a recurring series of movie reviews by John Charles -- associate
editor / film reviewer for Video Watchdog magazine and the author
of The Hong Kong Filmography.
His Name Is Nobody
Another of the Old School indies that helped to establish the kung fu comedy genre, this scattershot effort stars Lau Kar-wing as bumbling conman Peking Dog, who seeks to learns the secrets of the trade from super thief Sting (Dean Shek Tien). The pair begin a lucrative partnership but may end up making even bigger money if Sting accepts an offer from his equally crooked brother (Karl Maka, who also directed) to eliminate notorious assassin Ping the Dreg (Chung Fat). The plan goes disastrously wrong, with the target escaping and Dog and Sting becoming separated. The youth finds a new master in the form of the aged but deadly Koo (Leung Kar-yan), whose teachings dramatically increase Dog's skills. However, a chance reunion with Sting leads to another encounter with The Dreg.
Leung Kar-yan (left) and Lau Kar-Wing (right). Image courtesy Mei Ah.
While occasionally impressive, the martial arts here are not on par with those on display in other Lau Kar-wing films from the same period, like THE ODD COUPLE and DIRTY TIGER, CRAZY FROG (reviewed in issue #26). The comedy is also quite broad and Shek is so over-the-top in the first half, one is relieved when his character disappears from the narrative for an extended period. That said, the master / student relationship between Lau and Leung is quite enjoyable (with some choice training concepts) and things improve when the storyline takes a serious turn in the second half. While Makas direction is largely traditional, the inclusion of some blatantly anachronistic verbal gags demonstrate the change the genre was undergoing at this time. Meg Lam Kin-ming and Lam Ching-ying also appear.