Issue #222           HOME          E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com        BACK ISSUES                 July 26th, 2004

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Chocolate Inspector
(1986; Golden Harvest/Paragon Films)

Cantonese: San taam ju goo lik
Mandarin: Shen tan zhu gu li
English: Godly Inspector Chocolate
Alternate English Title: Inspector Chocolate
Japanese Title: Mr. Boo 8: Inspector Chocolate

RATING: 7/10

REVIEW:

This is one of Michael Hui Koon-man's most enjoyable comedies and serves as a fine introduction to the brand of humour that made him HK's top comedian of the 70's and 80's. He plays chocolate-addicted cop Chu Goo-lik (Cantonese for "chocolate") who hasn't been promoted in a dog's age and must endure the taunts of his slick co-worker, Liang (Michael Chow Man-kin). After one foul-up too many, the chief (Roy Chiao Hung) demotes Chocolate to the "Missing Persons" desk and further insists that the harried inspector keep an eye on Chiao-chiao (Anita Mui Yim-fong), a rookie policewoman and Miss HK contestant, who also happens to be the chief's daughter. Mrs. Lin (Sibelle Hu Hui-chung), a TV cooking show hostess, has had one of her twin boys kidnapped, and Chocolate is assigned the task of recovering the missing child. After bungling an initial arrest, Chocolate, his partner Egg-tart (Ricky Hui Koon-ying), and Chiao-chiao manage to apprehend their suspect, but he turns out to be an opportunist who just wanted to cash in on the situation. Further investigation and a vital tip from an unlikely source leads Chocolate into a potentially fatal confrontation with the real perpetrator.

Michael Hui Anita Mui Ricky Hui

Anita Mui gets to poke fun at her pop glamour image and the script incorporates ample opportunities for Hui to launch into both his "slow-burn" and "humbled sycophant" styles of comedy. However, the funniest sequence occurs during a stakeout, when Chocolate attempts to pass himself off as a female dwarf and gets caught in a compromising position when he has to go into the ladies' room! The film's use of sync sound recording (very rare on productions from its era) is a major plus, as Hui's fine-tuned timing and delivery remain spontaneous and natural. Two comedic bits (a cockroach loose in a bakery kitchen and Hui dressed up in a giant dog suit) would be reprised and expanded upon for the comedian's hilarious fast-food send-up, CHICKEN AND DUCK TALK (which has inexplicably never been released on DVD). Michael Chan Wai-man, Fung Hark-on, Tai Po, Elvis Tsui Kam-kong, Maria Cordero, and Dennis Chan Kwok-san also appear. Director Phillip Chan Yan-kin (a fixture in the HK film industry at the time, though known mainly for his duties in front of the camera) also co-wrote the film with Hui.

Michael Hui (left), Roy Chiao Sibelle Hu Michael Hui (left), Anita Mui


PRESENTATION:

Edges shimmer in some set-ups but the transfer is, otherwise, excellent for a film of this vintage. Print wear is minimal and the Cantonese audio is fine (the Mandarin track is rather thick and flat). Extras consist of the trailer, trailers for HAPPY DIN DON, A FAMILY AFFAIR, and THE LEGEND OF WISELY, and Star Files for Michael Hui and Anita Mui.

This DVD is available at:

Images in this review courtesy of Intercontinental Video Ltd. To read captions, hover mouse over image.


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Copyright © John Charles 2000 - 2004. All Rights Reserved.
E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com

DVD Specifications

  • Hong Kong Release
  • NTSC Region 0
  • Universe Laser & Video Co. Ltd #5124
  • Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Sync Sound Cantonese and Dubbed Mandarin Language
  • Subtitles (Optional): English, Traditional & Simplified Chinese, Malaysian
  • 8 Chapters
  • 4:3 Letterbox (2.40:1)
  • 98 Minutes (at 25 frames-per-second)

Ratings & Consumer Information

  • Australia: PG
  • Great Britain: PG
  • Hong Kong: I
  • Ontario: PG
  • Quebec: G
  • Singapore: PG
  • Contains mildly crude content and mild violence

FILM REVIEW RATINGS KEY:

  • 10 A Masterpiece
  • 9 Excellent
  • 8 Highly Recommended
  • 7 Very Good
  • 6 Recommended
  • 5 Marginal Recommendation
  • 4 Not Recommended
  • 3 Poor
  • 2 Definitely Not Recommended
  • 1 Dreadful