It's a Drink, It's a Bomb
George Lam is the equivalent of an acting black
hole. He just sucks the energy out of any scene and any actor within hailing
distance. The man would sleepwalk through an earthquake or the Dresden
bombings. The DVD biography states that he evenly divides his time between
work and play. My guess is that he works much harder at play than he ever
does in his acting. It doesn’t seem to matter what role he is performing
he always plays exactly the same character – calm, limp, droll and moribund.
Watching him makes me feel like I am slowly atrophying. OK – so much for
my George Lam rant. It’s just that for some mysterious reason he was quite
popular in the 1980’s and appeared in a number of films with some of my
favorite actresses – Brigitte, Michelle and Maggie – and his black hole
aura manages to make all of them seem listless at times.
Here Maggie Cheung is doing her bubbly vintage
1985 Magster – all crooked tooth charm and more effervescence than a vat
of Scheweppes ginger ale. Maggie does her best to fill the film with energy,
but she needs someone to react to her goofiness – a sounding board or a
mirror – but Lam gives nothing back as he does little more than raise the
occasional eyebrow to signify that he is awake. Then you have John Sham
as a mile a minute non-stop talking cabbie who is as irritating as Lam
but in a very different way. The problem with this film is that since there
isn’t really much of a plot, it depends on the chemistry of this trio.
Though the writers tried very hard to come up with situations that would
force these characters to bond, I never could imagine that this very disparate
threesome would have anything to do with one another.
Even though much of the film struck me as somewhat
flat, it still has a few positive things going for it. Maggie is simply
a delight to watch. During these early years in her career, she really
couldn’t act a whit – there isn’t a subtle acting note in the film from
her – but she has so much giddy charm and always appears to be having so
much fun that the viewer is swept along with her. Also having some fun
with his role is Tsui Kam-Kong - decked out in lipstick and mascara - who
appears to be undecided between a career as a killer or as a Revlon cover
Two Japanese killers (Eddie Ko and Tsui) have
contracted for a deadly bomb that comes in a soft drink can, but at the
last minute one of the makers of the bomb changes his mind and runs away
with it. The chase is on – and continues till the end of the film. Eddie
Ko wielding a samurai sword and Tsui with his miniature cross-bow track
down the man and kill him – but three witnesses see this all take place.
Maggie is a wealthy airhead, Lam a serious chemist
and Sham a headache inducing cab driver with wishes to be a cop. The three
of them are soon being pursued by the killers because they think Maggie
knows where the bomb is. The trio tell their story to policeman Paul Chun
Pui, but he thinks they are all crazy and suggests a psychiatrist. They
decide the only way to save themselves from the relentless killers is to
find the bomb and get the goods on the bad guys. Of course they don’t have
the faintest idea where to start!
The film has some amusing moments – a good finale
- and there is certainly the intent of creating a madcap romp, but much
of it seems less than inspired and Lam is like an albatross around the
necks of the rest of the cast.
My rating for this film: 6.0
Distributor - Universe
The transfer is absolutely terrific - even
the night scenes look quite good.
Previews: Heart to Hearts, Heart into Hearts,
Subs - English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified
Star files - George Lam, Maggie Cheung
Easy to read subs