Truant Heroes

Quickly following on the successful footsteps of Stephen Chow’s Fight Back to School is this similarly themed film from Wong Jing. Not only is it written by the same person (Barry Wong who appears here as the heavy police chief) but it also has both Cheung Man and Ng Man Tat who appeared in Fight Back to School. Unfortunately, Chow is nowhere on the premises – and his substitute Alfred Cheung simply can’t fill his shoes. Material that Chow could have possibly done something with falls flat in the hands of Cheung. Not to imply that the film is a total loss – it still has a number of things going for it – but it still is overall a middling comedy.

Above all it does have a fairly good cast besides those mentioned above. We also have the adorable Chingmy Yau (never looking cuter than in school uniform, large spectacles and tie), Aaron Kwok, Gabriel Wong, Michael Chan and I think – though I don’t see the credit – Yam Sai-kwoon (who played the evil eunuch in Heroic Trio). That’s always one of the more wonderful things about HK films – that even for a run of the mill film such as this they could always put a good cast together.

Chingmy, Afred Cheung and Michael Chan
Alfred and Chingmy are both cops and boyfriend and girlfriend (though Alfred rues mournfully to a friend that they have never had sex in three years of dating. Ow – poor Alfred – no wonder he always looks so pinched up!). They separately get assigned to the same job – to go undercover at a school St Yukon College (which Fonoroff mentions in his review means “strong sexual desire” in Cantonese) – to find out whom the son of some top triad boss is. They have to protect him because rivals of his father’s are coming to kill him. Their only clue is a birthmark on his buttocks. This regrettably leads to a number of naked male bottoms being shown!
Cheung Man, Chingmy and Ng Man Tat
Alfred goes in as a teacher and is soon at odds with the students while Chingmy goes in as a student and soon has the male student body trailing after her with tongues dragging along the floor. Cheung Man is also a teacher along with Michael Chan. Chan who nearly always gets stuck in triad roles (possibly because he was one before getting into acting!) has a wonderfully funny role as an ex-triad – now going into teaching – but he often seems to forget that little distinction. Aaron is the student they are all looking for and Gabriel Wong is his buddy. Ng Man Tat is also undercover in the school – if only our schools were so safe!
Chingmy, Alfred, Cheung Man, Aaron and Gabriel Wong
There are some individually funny bits – such as Alfred taking Ng Man Tats’ advice and charging into Chingmy’s bedroom with a condom in hand and coming out a moment later with his head wrapped inside it or Ng Man Tat and Alfred giving a sex educational lesson respectively as the egg and sperm – but overall very little of it was inspired. Except of course for Chingmy in those short skirts being inspirational!
Finally in the end is a big action finish when the triad headed by Yam Sai-kwoon (I think) comes to get Aaron and everyone bands together. It is pretty much the same plot as Fight Back to School with only a quarter of the laughs. It is harmless enough fluff though that will likely cause no damage to the viewer and certainly create a few laughs along the way.

My rating for this film: 6.0