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 girl!
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



 DVD Information:

Distributor - Universe

The transfer is absolutely terrific - even the night scenes look quite good. 

Letterbox

Trailer

Previews: Heart to Hearts, Heart into Hearts, Perfect Match

8 Chapters

Subs - English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Bahasa

Star files - George Lam, Maggie Cheung

Easy to read subs