They Came to Rob Hong Kong


After the first ten minutes of this film I had my mouth agape in amazement. I should have turned it off then.

It starts off with a bang as gang leader, Roy Cheung, first brutally kills an informer (Chan Fai Hung) and then is attacked by a squadron of female police officers led by Kara Hui Ying Hung and also includes Ann Bridgewater. This fight is astonishing; in particular the one between him and Kara. It is fierce and brutal as they go crashing through walls and windows and across rooftops. At one point Cheung knocks down his girlfriend and rips off her artificial leg, pulls out a shotgun and starts blasting away. Finally, in an incredible stunt he gets knocked off the rooftop, bounces off a few balconies and lands below.  Then in true HK fashion he gets up, brushes himself off and walks away. This is ten minutes of pure adreneline.

If only the director Clarence Ford (Naked Killer, Iceman Cometh, Dragon from Russia) had kept up this pace this would have been a classic. Instead with the help of screenwriter Dean Shek he abruptly turns it into a hack comedy that shifts between making fun of Mainlanders (something many films did around this time) and stale "horny guy" routines.
Cheung escapes to the Mainland where he puts together a goofy new gang consisting of Eric Tsang, Stanley Fung, Dean Shek, Sandra Ng, Charlie Cho,  Chin Siu Ho and Liu Wai Hung. This is a recipe for a silly comedy, but in this case not a very funny one. He brings them to HK to rob a bank and has them trained by Chingmy Yau who finally makes her appearance at the forty minute mark. It turns out of course that this gang is just a red herring and that Cheung has other more devious plans.
To some degree I suppose this is a parody of Long Arm of the Law which is also about a group of robbers coming over the border. That film was deadly serious about a group of down on their luck Mainlanders wanting to make a quick dangerous buck in HK - but these robbers consist of a couple of medical conmen, a lounge singer (called Leslie Cheung), two idiotic Mainland security cops and a couple of others who tag along. Charlie Cho spends much of the film with a baby sucking at his bosum. The standout here is Sandra Ng and her whirling kicks.
Finally they figure out they are being duped and try to turn the tables on Roy and his real gang. This leads to a pretty enjoyable finale that brings the film back from the dead. Everybody gets involved - a complete free for all takes place and we finally get to see Chin Siu Ho do his thing as he executes some terrific fight moves.
Showing up in this film also is another gang leader Shing Fui On - who we get to see doing some Cantonese rap and later showing his bare bottom - Elaine Kam as the kidnapped council woman and Chen Jing as one of Roy's bad guys (and interestingly using the same name Rooster that he did in Long Arm of the Law).
 

My rating for this film: 5.5



DVD Information:

Distributed by Mei Ah

The transfer is quite clean and sharp.

Letterboxed

Cantonese and Mandarin language tracks - Dolby surround sound

9 Chapters

The subtitles are Chinese or English or none.

There are no extras - no trailers.