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They Came to Rob Hong Kong
Year: 1989 "Hey! It's Ekin Cheng!"
The crew of They Came to Rob Hong Kong
Director: Clarence Fok Yiu-Leung
Cast: Dean Shek Tin, Roy Cheung Yiu-Yeung, Sandra Ng Kwun-Yu, Stanley Fung Shui-Fan, Eric Tsang Chi-Wai, Chin Siu-Ho, Chingmy Yau Suk-Ching, Kara Hui Ying-Hung, Liu Wai-Hung, Charlie Cho Cha-Lei, Ann Bridgewater, Elaine Kam Yin-Ling, Yammie Nam Kit-Ying, Shing Fui-On, Ann Mui Oi-Fong, Chan Ging, Wellson Chin Sing-Wai, Chan Fai-Hung, Tin Kai-Man
The Skinny: Screwy action-comedy with liberal doses of unfunny comedy and amusing action. Fans of either might enjoy checking this out, though the film is far from good.
by Kozo:
     Patently uneven Hong Kong action comedy from the braintrust that was Cinema City. Roy Cheung stars as Tung, a vicious HK criminal who escapes from a squad of female cops (led by Kara Hui). He hightails it to China and proceeds to recruit a bizarre group of Mainlanders for an elaborate job back in Hong Kong. The group includes a quack doctor (Stanley Fung) and his dopey pal (Eric Tsang), a silly cop (Dean Shek) and his girlfriend/partner (Sandra Ng), and a couple of wannabe popstars (Chin Siu-Ho and some other guy). Chingmy Yau shows up as Jenny, a pretty teacher who's supposed to school these people in the ways of HK's then-capitalist society. However, the group doesn't really seem fit for Tung's decidely rough-and-ready ways; they're just too damn silly and given to fits of unfunny comedy. It's apparent that Tung has something else up his sleeve, but what?
     Large sections of wacky shtick punctuate this throwaway no-brainer from director Clarence Fok (Naked Killer). The opening action sequence contains some brutal fighting and serious overtones that indicate that the film may be a tough crime film ala the Long Arm of the Law series. Then it just gets silly. Stanley Fung and Eric Tsang may as well be playing their characters from the Lucky Stars flicks, and Sandra Ng goes for broke with some over-the-top wackiness. Parodies of A Better Tomorrow and Leslie Cheung appear, and Tung's crime plot takes a backseat to stuff like a baby sucking at a man's nipple. All the comedy is tiring and without any real consequence; if you dig this sort of anything-goes silliness, then you may be happy. Otherwise, there's nothing here to really like.
     At the very least there's action, which arrives in the form of some amusing wirework, painful-looking stunts and energetic scampering about by the entire cast. The fast-paced fighting and fleeing can be entertaining, though one wonders if it's enough to shore up the entire picture. This sort of screwy throwaway cinema was standard operating procedure during the late eighties and early nineties, which means that many a person likely went home satisfied. Enjoyment of the spectacle that is They Came to Rob Hong Kong may depend on how much this sort of trifle appeals to a given viewer. If you like silly stuff with diverting action, then you could be fine. If you like crap, then you'll be overjoyed. If you're looking for a thoughtful screenplay, sharp acting and a unique cinematic experience then avoid this movie like the plague. I probably lean towards the latter description, though I can't say I wasn't sometimes amused. (Kozo 2003)
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. Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen