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Review of The Dark Knight: Hong Kong Segment (2008)

In an amazing cosmic coincidence, three people asked me this question, one on the LoveHKFilm forums, one on the LoveHKFilm Facebook group, and one via e-mail. The idea was also mentioned in a previous blog comment, so what the hell - I’ll bite. Also, it now qualifies as an installment of Kozo’s Mailbag.

The question: What did I think of The Dark Knight?

There happen to be Hong Kong elements in Christopher Nolan’s insane blockbuster, so this blog entry actually qualifies as Asian film-related. In an effort to stay even more on topic, I’ll just review the Hong Kong portion of the film.


The Dark Knight
A scene cut from The Dark Knight: Hong Kong Segment.

The Skinny
Batman kicks ass in Hong Kong, and not much else. Christian Bale makes a fine Caped Crusader, but I wish the movie was longer than 10 minutes. Featuring a blurry Edison Chen.

The Review
The Dark Knight opens with businessman Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman a.k.a. God) landing on top of the Peninsula, after which he checks into security at IFC Two and unwittingly hands his mobile phone to - holy crap, it’s Edison Chen! Hopefully, Lucius deleted any incriminating photos off his phone, because Good Ol’ Ed has the worst luck handling digital technology.

Apparently, Ed has been hiding in IFC Two following Sexy Photos Gate, where he stays under the radar by pretending to be a security guard. He does such a good job of staying unnoticed that cinematographer Wally Pfister doesn’t even put him in focus. Ed: you’re a master of disguise.

Anyway, Batman (the ever-personable Christian Bale) shows up and takes a header off of IFC One to glide into IFC Two. I originally thought the Caped Crusader was taking a Hong Kong trip to extradite Edison, who’s wanted in at least twelve territories for ruining the Hong Kong Entertainment industry, but Batman drops the ball and instead apprehends some guy named Lau (Chin Han), who’s hanging out in IFC Two like all white-collar criminals in Hong Kong do.

Batman’s exact reasons for grabbing Lau are unknown, but Hong Kong looks mighty fine on the big screen, thanks to the huge electric bill they rang up by keeping all the lights on at night. Batman takes out a bunch of useless Asian gangsters and makes off with Lau, though the actual action is a little too murky to get excited about. Unfortunately, neither Danny Lee nor Michael Wong makes a cameo as a Hong Kong Cop Who Breaks All The RulesTM. Instead, the producers just hired some guy to play the main HK cop. At least he’s in focus.

My main gripe with The Dark Knight is that Batman did not complete his Hong Kong trip by dangling Edison Chen from the Bank of China building. Frankly, if anyone in Hong Kong needs to be brought to justice, it’s the people behind Gen-Y Cops. Hopefully in the third film, Batman hangs out in Hong Kong for an extended run to beat up Benny Chan, Stephen Fung, and the rest of the guys at Media Asia - especially the person who wrote the immortal line, “See you at the Jumbo.”

Some suggestions: Maggie Q shows up as Catwoman and Sam Lee replaces Cillian Murphy as the Scarecrow. The film should also feature a 10 minute IMAX sequence in Los Angeles, where Batman will zip in on the Bat Jet Ski and kidnap Paul Rudd from The Coffee Bean in Santa Monica. Nic Tse must play Robin, and should be given a chance to fight Edison Chen on top of IFC One. I say no safety cables or stunt doubles. Winner takes all, i.e., the complete set of photos and Cecilia Cheung. If they recast the Joker, it can be Juno Mak, who should get some personal time with Edison to settle some scores. The gross will be less than The Dark Knight, but should pass CJ7’s HK gross handily. I’d see it. (Kozo 2008)

Mortal enemies
“Dude, we’re in the sequel!”

- In retrospect, maybe this wasn’t so funny. Frankly, not much on this site is. As evidence, you can randomly select any page.

- Perhaps I’ll return in a day or two to write about what I think of the rest of the film. I will hopefully have seen the film in IMAX - and if it happens it’ll be the third time I’ve gone. I’ll even talk more about Edison.

10 Responses to “Review of The Dark Knight: Hong Kong Segment (2008)”

  1. V Says:

    Actually, that is very funny. “We’re in the sequel!” :D I’d go see it too.

  2. nicole Says:

    When I saw ED in the movie (for just a split second) I thought my eyes was playing tricks on me! But I know it’s him and my friend didn’t even notice the security guard in suit! Your piece made me laugh, nice work dude :D

  3. eliza bennet Says:

    I think this entry is hillarious but seriously you have to watch The Dark Knight in IMAX - it was my first experience and I loved it.

  4. MW Says:

    I’ve seen The Dark Knight twice (second time at IMAX, first time at IMAX and totally worth it) but the first time I saw it, once I saw a blurry Edison, me and my friend turned to each other and did the DeShaun-Stevenson-my-face-is-on-fire move indicating Edison was all blur. While many in the audience pointed and laugh at the blurriness of Hong Kong’s famous banished pimp.

    I’m sure his cameo was more before the scandal (or at least clearer), maybe he had a chance to pull the smile charm on Freeman too.

  5. Munin Says:

    A friend of mine who saw it in a HK cinema claimed that in the HK scenes, everyone spoke Mandarin. Was that intentional, or a reason behind that? It would seem like a pretty large oversight otherwise.

  6. Sanney Leung Says:

    I’d see the sequel too but only if it features Eric Tsang as The Penguin.

    For a second or two, I thought the main HK cop was Nick Cheung.

    I agree with MW in that EDC would have gotten more face time if “little Edison and friends” hadn’t become so infamous.

  7. 1minutefilmreview Says:

    Nice, cool review!

  8. ben Says:

    well not everyone in the scene spoke Mandarin, just the villain and his goons.

    naturally, some Asians are pulling the “omg this film is discrimination against Chinese” card. Freaking annoying

  9. Viktor Says:

    Yes I agree with “V”, this is actually very funny. And hey, if they need any more Asian policefolk in the sequel, they could hire Cecilia Cheung herself — we all know she looks good in police uniform.

  10. H K Cop Says:

    Hello there, just to say I am the guy who played the HK cop and I find the review and responses really funny. I am from the UK and I enjoyed the week in November filming the HK scenes in Central.

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