Heat Team


It is always difficult for me to take Aaron Kwok very seriously. I think much of this has to do with the clothes that he wears in real life – flamboyant and colorful is putting it mildly – but the one ghastly image that sears my brain in particular is Aaron in these short shorts flogging Pepsi to the masses. Considering that rumors have swirled about him for over a decade as to his sexual preferences – even with a video of a sexual act between him and a woman in circulation – one might think that his choice of clothes might be more conservative. Amusingly (intentionally I think) this film pokes fun at his sexuality, his height and his role as a spokesperson for Pepsi Light – though Eason fights back with a gigantic Coke placement moment – is he the spokesperson for that I wonder? Aaron who declares in the film that "I hate women very much" has something akin to premature ejaculation with his Pepsi can while Eason performs foreplay with his Coke on a suspect. I've always preferred Coke myself.
At any rate – whenever I see Aaron now I envision him in those tight shorts and just kind of laugh to myself. After “Para Para Sukara” in 2001 (a film I could not force myself to finish) Aaron went into cinematic exile – or maybe hiding – for nearly three years. Did it take that long to purge this film out of his system or to pay penance for his sins? One thing for certain though is that while away he was not studying his acting craft, as his two films since returning – Heat Team and Throwdown – are - to be nice - exercises in minimalism. He seems to have forgotten how to change his expression and goes through both films as if in a monotone daze or a Buddhist trance. Aaron – wake up – this is not a dream. When he finally breaks into a smile at the end of this film, it looks like his face might crack into glittery little pieces.
This though may have been the perfect film for Aaron to return to – it’s slick and dim like a Vegas showgirl and somewhat enjoyable to watch on a certain don’t think too hard level. It’s a lap dance without any contact or substance. Working with Eason Chan, a grotty looking Danny Lee and a number of unknown actors, Aaron must have felt this was a good opportunity to get his acting legs back without looking too bad by comparison. Of course next to Eason, a tuna casserole would look talented. This falls into the genre of action-comedy buddy film – but the action is only fair if fun, the comedy is only occasionally amusing in a self-deprecating way and the two buddies are not at all likable. Yet it still manages to entertain in small spurts and has some very fresh eye candy that makes all of the proceedings silky smooth and quite painless.
Aaron and Eason are two top cops who meet cute during an unusual hostage situation in which a girlfriend of Eason’s is holding another one of his girlfriends at gunpoint and in the proceedings everyone seems to end up at the wrong end of a gun – quite funny actually. After this they both are assigned to a special Interpol section to replace a female supervisor (Yumiko Cheng) who is going on leave to get married. Though these two are suppose to be the best in the force you would never guess it by their shenanigans – playing a game of shootout using dummy paint bullets in which the office is nearly destroyed and a complete lack of professionalism when holding onto a witness – any of which would have most policemen in the real world booted out in a nanosecond. But then their female boss is not exactly the epitome of professionalism either as she cries a lot, tries on her wedding gown at the office and wants to seduce Eason.
In fact, Eason is a Romeo of sorts that women can’t resist while poor Aaron is nervous to be around them. Eason tries to pass on some of his knowledge to Aaron in one of the weirdest scenes ever as he shows Aaron the power of his slithery tongue and Aaron asks to have it inserted into his mouth to feel its magic. Even Danny Lee who once stuck a hose up a man’s rectum in a movie is creeped out by this. I was reaching for the remote as quickly as possible. The case they are assigned to is regarding a master thief (Huang Bin-yuan) who steals a valuable necklace along with the rest of his gang – among them Dave Wang, Carl Ng and Victoria Wu. Can I just stop and go wu-hoo – I don’t know a thing about this actress – maybe she just got out of jail for killing her lover, maybe she is a morphine addict, maybe she prefers the company of small dogs – it doesn’t matter - Victoria Wu is perfect and if the world wasn’t upside down she would become a major star. She rocks while nearly every other new actress from Hong Kong rolls. What truely scared me most about this film is that there is a scene that begins with a close-up of a pair of lips and I was able to recognize Hui Siu-hung by them - I think I have been watching way too many Hong Kong films - Kathy Chow I could understand but Hui Siu-hung? Next I'll be able to recognize Eason by his tongue which gets more exposure in this than should be legal.

My rating for this film: 6.0