Love Soldier of Fortune
Reviewed by YTSL
This fluffy romantic offering stars two individuals
who are in noticeable possession of buckteeth here yet are considered to
be physically attractive by more than a few members of the opposite sex.
The male lead, Alan Tam, is probably best known in East Asia for having
been part of a music band called "The Wynners" (one of whose other players
included Kenny Bee; and which, for a while, was so much a part of pop culture
that it got parodied in "Armor of God" -- a 1986 movie in which Alan Tam
appears as Jackie Chan's dopey sidekick). Although it may sound improbable
to some now, there was a time when this 1988 film's female lead, Maggie
Cheung, was mainly thought of as a cute comic -- rather than beautiful
dramatic -- actress.
It also is a sign of how much things have changed
that LOVE SOLDIER OF FORTUNE is primarily a star vehicle for Alan Tam (as
opposed to the woman's whose reputation increased upon her appearing in
another production that came out in 1988, "As Tears Go By"). Additionally,
unless we're talking about casting that majorly goes against type, it just
would not be the case these days that THE vamp role in a film would go
to Sandra Ng -- someone who can look glamorous when she wants to but....!
-- rather than the Magster. It has to be said that for this Hong
Kong moviephile, all this makes for there being at least some novelty value
in viewing this otherwise rather innocuous -- but consequently not very
interesting -- work.
Though its title may sound somewhat strange, LOVE
SOLDIER OF FORTUNE is a generally simple and also innocent-feeling film
about a modest piano tuner (played by Alan Tam) who has been a long time,
long-distance (he only knew her from her hosting a radio program he avidly
listens to) admirer of a DJ portrayed by Maggie Cheung. One day,
on an assignment to tune the piano of an arrogant and rather sleazy pop
musician, he manages to help the woman he secretly adores -- who had gone
to the piano owner's house to interview the musician -- fend off the unwanted
advances of his client.
Around this time, Alan Tam's character is forced
to move into his ancestral abode even though he knows that it's haunted
due to the relative he had previously been living with electing to migrate
to Canada (N.B. It really is amazing how much migration can pop up in Hong
Kong movies made between the realization that China was not going to renew
the lease the British temporarily had had of the territory and its being
handed back to China). As it turns out, the ghost of his great grand
uncle (Stanley Fung) is not only benign and friendly but also musically
talented and (consequently) helpful in making the young man into a popular
composer cum singer, and be considered as a worthy friend -- and maybe
more -- of the famous DJ.
Invariably though, problems will crop up even
in LOVE SOLDIER OF FORTUNE's lovey-dovey world and the two lovebirds have
to find out how genuine each person is as well as how sincere are their
affections for each other. Still, it has to be emphasized that this
is a largely light piece in which there really are no absolutely horrible
villains and the most violent actions are those of an amazingly well-meaning
ghost's -- invisible to the humans involved -- attempts to get a couple
into an intimate position. As such, those seeking spectacle or substance
are strongly recommended to look elsewhere. Should you be content
though with having a(nother) opportunity to view a young -- and chubby
cheeked -- Maggie and/or Alan (another performer whose acting has definitely
improved since this movie was made), you could do worse than give this
offering a try.
My rating for the film: 6.
For More Photos of the Magster from this film,