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Issue #171 HOME E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com BACK ISSUES August 4th, 2003

Looking for Mr. Perfect
(2003; China Star Entertainment Group/One Hundred Years of Film/Milkyway Image Production)

A Masterpiece
Highly Recommended
Very Good
Marginal Recommendation
Not Recommended
Definitely Not Recommended

Cantonese: Kei fung dik sau
Mandarin: Qi feng di shou
English: Strange Encounter With An Enemy

We all know times are tough for HK directors but here is something no one could have expected: Ringo Lam Ling-tung signing on to direct a romantic comedy/travelogue?! Actually, at the very beginning of his career, Lam helmed CUPID ONE and THE OTHER SIDE OF GENTLEMAN (sic), two Cinema City films that initially seem to be romantic comedies but take such exceedingly unpleasant turns in Act 2, you can almost feel Lam desperately trying to break out of these assignments and move on to what he does best: brutally violent and downbeat thrillers where everyone perishes horribly
except for the protagonist(s), who is almost dead and emotionally scarred for life. Even Lam's ACES GO PLACES IV is an unusually dark and violent entry in that decidedly lightweight series. One's concern over the quality of LOOKING FOR MISTER PERFECT is not alleviated by the fact that it was shot two years ago and then shelved by China Star, ostensibly because they felt that new leading man Andy On Chi-kit would be better introduced to the public via his star turn in BLACK MASK 2: CITY OF MASKS*.

Suffering from nightmares after having killed a perpetrator, policewoman Grace (Shu Qi) decides to accompany her friend Joey (Isabel Chan Yat-ning) to Malaysia, where the latter is scheduled to appear in a commercial shoot for sleazy producer Bobby Chan (Lam Suet). While soaking up the sun and a few unnaturally colored beverages, Grace sees a handsome guy (On, looped by someone else) who is a dead ringer for the Adonis appearing in her dreams of late. He turns out to be Alex, an agent trying to stop a purloined missile defense system from being smuggled out of the country. Chan is in league with dapper criminal Poon (Simon Yam Tat-wah) to do just that but Alex and his bumbling superior (Hui Siu-hung) mistakenly believe that Grace and Joey are involved. Things get even more complicated when the disc that operates the system is stolen by a petty thief (Chapman To Man-chat), and a pair of persistent suitors arrive from HK to repeatedly proclaim their love for Grace.

There is a nicely staged jet ski/speedboat chase as well as a valiant attempt to emulate the sleek, dance-inspired choreography of ONCE A THIEF. As in BLACK MASK 2, On is a complete blank but the rest of the cast is spirited, particularly Yam (whose finger snapping, flamboyantly attired villain would have been a perfect addition to the 1960s BATMAN series) and several scenes feature just the right degree of finely tuned chaos to make one smile. Unfortunately, the plot is nonsense even for this sort of picture and the climax quite weak (and definitely not helped by the addition of some chuckling CGI sunflowers). The use of vintage music and cartoon sound FX to underscore the action and humor also tends to be more overbearing than successful. If it had been released a decade ago, PERFECT would be fairly easy to dismiss. However, with the current state of HK cinema, you have to take your entertainment where you can find it, and most viewers should find enough here to at least justify a rental. Crystal Tin Yui-lei, Ruby Wong Cheuk-ling (almost unrecognizable as Yam's punked out girlfriend) David Wu Tai-wai (the Taiwanese VJ, also looped by another performer), Raymond Wong Ho-yin, Nelson Cheung Hok-yun, and Wayne Lai Yiu-cheung co-star.

Cover art courtesy Mei Ah.

Andy On. Image courtesy Mei Ah.

From left to right: Shu Qi, Isabel Chan and David Wu. Image courtesy Mei Ah.
Ruby Wong and Simon Yam. Image courtesy Mei Ah.
Mei Ah #DVD-587 (Hong Kong label)

Dolby Digital 5.1

Sync Sound Cantonese and Dubbed Mandarin Language Tracks

Optional Subtitles in English and Chinese (Traditional or Simplified)

6 Chapters Illustrated in the Menu With Clips

Enhanced for 16:9 Displays

Letterboxed (1.80:1)

Coded for ALL Regions

NTSC Format

101 Minutes

Contains mild violence

DVD menu courtesy Mei Ah.

Hong Kong: IIA
Singapore: PG


The transfer looks terrific, with exactly the kind of bright, intoxicating colors needed to properly showcase the scenery. Some reverb occasionally pops up in the 5.1 mix but it is a passable effort. A 5 minute "Making Of..." is included (Chinese subs only) but where is the trailer?

Ruby Wong and Simon Yam from the "Making of ... " feature. Image courtesy Mei Ah.

**If that catastrophe were not enough of a hindrance to On's career, PERFECT opened during the SARS crisis and sank without a trace.

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