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Bullets Over Summer
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Louis Koo and Francis Ng on a lobby card from Bullets Over Summer
Chinese: 爆裂刑警  
Year: 1999  
Director: Wilson Yip Wai-Shun  
Producer: Joe Ma Wai-Ho  
Cast: Francis Ng Chun-Yu, Louis Koo Tin-Lok, Law Lan, Stephanie Lam Mei-JingMichelle Saram, Lai Yiu-Cheung, Joe Lee Yiu-Ming, Matthew Chow Hoi-Kwong, Tony Ho Wah-Chiu, David Lee Seung-Man, Kenny Wong Tak-Bun, Lo Meng, Candy Hau Woon-Ling
The Skinny: Francis Ng takes us to acting school in this subtle, affecting cop drama from director Wilson Yip.
 
Review
by Kozo:

The Brilliant Idea Group tries their hand at that most unique of HK film genres: cop soap opera. Francis Ng is Mike, a strangely temperamental cop that nonetheless does his job and earns the respect of his peers and superiors. Louis Koo is Mike’s partner Yan, a sloppy skirt-chaser who’s despised by the higher-ups despite the constant defense of Mike. The two are chasing some vicious thieves who’ve already killed numerous policemen and innocent bystanders.

To accomplish their assignment, they stake out the home of a rumored arms dealer by commandeering the home of a nearby apartment. The owner of said apartment is ubiquitous granny Law Lan, who lets the two in and proceeds to mistake them for her grandchildren. Meanwhile, flighty schoolgirl Yen (Michelle Saram) ingratiates herself into Yan’s life. And, while chasing the suspected arms dealer, Mike strikes up a slow-burn romance with single expectant mother Jennifer (Stephanie Lam). 

What all this means is anybody’s guess. Like all cop soap opera, the subplots and characters come out of the woodwork for no discernible reason. Audiences probably watch these movies and despair over the attention to character and the lack of head-busting action. However, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The disjointed and unexpected nature of the these movies is what makes them so good. Bullets Over Summer proves no different, though it resorts to contrivance to tie up the plot. Also, there’s an overused dramatic device that shapes the film’s final act. 

Still, the sharp direction and fine performances make up for the weak patches of the film. Francis Ng, in particular, is excellent as the troubled cop Mike. This is one of his more surprising performances, as he carries himself with a quieter, more focused strength. This movie doesn’t attempt anything really new, but it’s a welcome film and one definitely worth watching. (Kozo 1999)

 
Awards:

19th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards
• Winner - Best Actress (Law Lan)
• Nomination - Best Actor (Francis Ng Chun-Yu)
• Nomination - Best Sound Effects
6th Annual Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards
• Best Actor (Francis Ng Chun-Yu)
• Best Actress (Law Lan)
• Best Screenplay (Matthew Chow Hoi-Kwong, Wilson Yip Wai-Shun, Ben Cheung)
• Recommended Film

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Laser
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Mei Ah Film Production

   
   
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