For Bad Boys Only


So I approached this film as cautiously as a butterfly near a hot stove – anything with Ekin Cheng in it and with Manfred Wong as the producer spells trouble for me. Sure I keep watching their puffed up billowy films – The Young and Dangerous series, The Legend of Speed, Storm Riders – it is like not being able to stay away from junk food – but not even good junk food – its in front of you and so you eat it – and you always feel lousy later on for doing so.

But I had a reason to watch this one – an intellectual puzzle – a mathematical equation to solve. Can the dreary presence of one Ekin Cheng be overcome by the delightful presence of three Hsu Chi’s? Philosophers and scientists have been mulling over this question for years now  - just what does it take in a film to overcome what has become known as the Ekin Factor (like a neutron bomb – it deadens everything around it).

In the early years of experimentation they mixed in lively actors such as Jordan Chan, Karen Mok and Gigi Lai – but it wasn’t strong enough. Later on they hoped that the curvaceous figure and seductive smile of Kelly Lam might counter it – but sadly the experiment ended in disaster as Kelly was sucked into the Ekin vortex and her black leather shorts and cleavage ended up doing the dialogue with Ekin’s hair and chest. Nearing desperation, the experimenters gave up on people – thinking that perhaps movies loaded with special effects would do the trick – but regretfully the special effect to make Ekin change his facial expression was an expensive failure. At this point they realized there was only one thing left to try – if three Hsu Chi’s in one film could not halt the Ekin Factor – then perhaps nothing could. Their hope of course is to take whatever the solution is and apply it to Michael Wong films  - so the world holds it’s breath in anticipation.
I had a friend who told me that this was possibly the worst film he had ever seen – but still I dived in with no fear – my hand securely clutching the remote control so that I could quickly pull myself out if I was in trouble. It starts off great – a stunning Hsu Chi  - lipsticked up like a geisha doll – and running – swiftly – fear spread over her chiseled face like a captured animal – and runs straight into blonde haired Mark Cheng who shoots her down – and a transparent liquid runs out from her. She is a clone  - but one with powers that were borrowed from The Matrix.
Next we meet up with Ekin, Louis Koo and Kristy Yeung – I think they are saving Gigi Lai from marrying Blackie Ko – certainly a worthwhile endeavor in any circumstance  - but what is Smartie doing in this film? And she still doesn’t remember anything – and goes off to marry Vincent Kok – what’s going on here – have I entered a parallel universe? I must have because Ekin is changing his expression – call the papers – it is like watching the trees move in Lord of the Rings - and he is acting like a goofball lothario full of romantic come ons that have inches of dust on them from disuse. Maybe this Ekin is a clone too – he is actually trying to be charming and cloy here – I never thought I would miss his stone face so much – this is painful to see – like watching a folk musician suddenly going hip hop. And can we all chip in and buy this guy a few t-shirts or at least a jacket that has more than one button? I watch a movie with three Hsu Chi’s in it - and it is Ekin that shows his cleavage on every possible occasion! Has the world gone mad?
So continuing the experiment – Ekin, Louis and Kristy are part of a detective agency – Bad Boys - who track down missing people – but must be under the misapprehension that they are living in a music video – because they try so hard to look cool – the way only people in music videos do. Daniel Chan comes to them with a sad story of his missing girlfriend – who disappeared 14 months previously – maybe she heard his music – and she looks just like the clone! And then my god – a rich businessman comes to them asking them to look up his old girlfriend – now forty years old but once a famous runner – and hold on to your hat – but she looks like the clone too! A world full of Hsu Chi’s!
But this is really a movie about love – yup – boy meets clone and the rest is history. Ekin is so busy coming up with bad lines of dialogue that he doesn’t seem to notice that this long haired cutie pie has incredible strength – can jump huge distances – all she can say is “My name is Eleven. I’m human. I am half Japanese and half Chinese. I am twenty years old” and acts like a ten year old. OK – scratch that last one – Ekin has acted with Hsu Chi before so that won’t come as a big surprise. And hell – I have to admit that there have been dates I have been on in which I wish this is all they would tell me about themselves! Still, it is a little creepy watching Ekin trying to seduce this woman with the mind of a child.
So the data comes in – and it gets processed through the latest in computer power – will the experiment work – can Hsu Chi work her magic one more time – oh oh – overload overload  - red lights flashing – it is going to blow – I frantically hit the remote – pull me out pull me out – just in time – the Ekin Factor has overcome everything in it’s path – three Hsu Chi’s and still no luck. Next up – bring the Yips – Veronica, Amy and Gloria - out of retirement to take on the Ekin Factor.
So how bad is Bad Boys? Very bad. It is unfocused – is plain silly – the action would have to be termed “action light” – and even Hsu Chi  -as good as she is in bringing out the depth of feeling in all three of her characters (just kidding) – can’t save this mess. It is like a home movie with a budget. Some good news though  - in the Making Of section  -the producers disclose that Hsu Chi’s face had to be scanned for some of the clones – so even if she were to retire from acting – she could go on forever!
Also making appearances in small cameos in this home movie are – Josie Ho, Helen Law Lan, Kelly Lam, Ng Chi-hung and Stephanie Che.

My rating for this film: 4.0



DVD Information:

Distributed by Universe

The transfer is excellent.

Letterboxed

International (mix of Cantonese, Mandarin and English) and Mandarin language tracks

8 Chapters

The subtitles are Chinese or English.

There is a trailer for this film - and for Queen of Kowloon and Marooned.

There is a fifteen minute Making of section in which everyone appears to be taking this film quite seriously - now that was good acting!