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Killing Me Tenderly
Chinese: 愛您愛到殺死您
Sammi Cheng charms Leon Lai
Year: 1997
Director: Lee Lik-Chee
Producer: Joe Ma Wai-Ho
Cast: Leon Lai-Ming, Sammi Cheng Sau-Man, Sandra Ng Kwun-Yu, Wyman Wong Wai-Man, Lai Yiu-Cheung, Vincent Kok Tak-Chiu, Joe Cheng Cho, Ha Ping, Lee Kin-Yan, Spencer Lam Seung-Yi, Lee Siu-Kei, Ruby Wong Cheuk-Ling, GC Goo Bi, Lam Suet, Tin Kai-Man, Leila Tong Ling, Candy Hau Woon-Ling
The Skinny: Hong Kong clone of The Bodyguard is lifted by the engaging pairing of Leon Lai and Sammi Cheng. A very enjoyable little commercial movie.
by Kozo:

Like most typical HK flicks, this remake of The Bodyguard from comedy director Lee Lik-Chee has an identity crisis from the get go. The film canít decide whether itís a comedy or a thriller, so it switches between the two awkwardly. However, whatís left proves to be surprisingly enjoyable. 

Leon Lai is Lai, a New Territories cop who longs for new challenges in the urban areas of HK. He ends up leaving his mom Ha Ping and devoted cousin Sandra Ng (in a thankless role) and journeys to the city, where he gets assigned to guard up-and-coming singer Cindy (Sammi Cheng), which bothers him for lots of reasons. Among others, he hates the idea of babysitting a spoiled star and worse, he has to pretend heís gay to fit into her all-gay entourage (Wyman Wong, Vincent Kok, and Joe Cheng). 

Of course, Cindy turns out to be an absolute angel, so Lai falls hard and fast for her. Truth to tell, it isnít hard to see why. Sammi Cheng turns in a nuanced, engaging performance that surprises. In contrast to the hyperactive antics of most newbie HK starlets, Cheng possesses a natural, magnetic charm that carries the film beyond its conventional HK multi-genre trappings. Whatever enjoyment the film brings results from the interaction between her and Leon Lai, who departs from his usual personality-less acting. Heís amazingly likable and even sympathetic, and his wooden acting seems quite fitting for his character. 

The film also is a fun spoof of HKís entertainment industry. Sadly, the whole thing devolves into an obsessed fan story, complete with letters in blood and pictures of Cindy pasted on the wall. Most HK films devolve when plot gets in the way, which is surprising because in American films itís the lack of a story that usually kills a flick. HK Cinema is unparalleled in its ďmoments,Ē and Killing Me Tenderly has some very good ones. Most of them happen to involve Sammi Cheng. (Kozo 1997)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Mei Ah Laser Disc Co., Ltd.

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