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)