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United We Stand and Swim
Chinese: 4X100 水著份子 "Take that, you inflatable demon!"
Anthony Wong and inflatable friend
Year: 2001
Director: Matthew Chow Hoi-Kwong
Producer: Joe Ma Wai-Ho
Writer: Matthew Chow Hoi-Kwong, Joe Ma Wai-Ho, Felix Chong Man-Keung
Cast: Sammy, Wyman Wong Wai-Man, Pace Wu, Law Lan, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Joe Lee Yiu-Ming, Siu Yee, Tony Ho Wah-Chiu, Kenny Wong Tak-Bun, Calvin Poon Yuen-Leung, Wilson Yip Wai-Shun, Soi Cheang Pou-Soi
The Skinny: Meandering comedy that's marginally entertaining, but not in any way that would require a person to actually seek it out. As background chatter, it's tolerable.
by Kozo:

As throwaway as your average Kleenex, this ultra-light comedy from writer-director Matt Chow is amiable enough for a time-waster. However, if you choose to pay actual attention to this flick you may waste away from boredom and/or lack of any intellectual stimulus.

Commerical Radio DJ Sammy Leung is the ironically-named Little Fish, who can't swim and gets dumped by his girlfriend as a result. His mom (ubiquitous Law Lan) signs him up for swimming lessons with Anthony Wong, an oddball swim instructor who never actually seems to get wet. His classmates are the usual ragtag assortment of oddballs, including the toupee-wearing Wyman Wong (who's a lot heavier than he used to be), useless drunk Joe Lee, and babe du jour Pace Wu.

Shtick ensues until some jerky pro swimmers pick on Wyman's kid, and the necessary challenge gets issued. Our heroes now have only one month to learn how to swim - and swim well enough to take on the pros in a 4x100 relay race.

Since this is a sports movie, the usual clichés turn up. Our guys must learn to swim, but there's also the obligatory personal issues that need to be tied up, thus making the swim to the winner's circle an easier one. In that department, United We Stand and Swim fails miserably, as nothing that occurs is either compelling or reasonably plausible.

The trials of the band of misfits are so lightweight and frankly uninteresting that unintended slumber may be induced. As such, we're left with the other stuff to keep us occupied, like Anthony Wong's bizarre but genial turn as the screwy swim instructor, or the dubbed charms of the suitably pretty Pace Wu.

This isn't a good film at all, but it's relatively harmless, so hating it would probably by too extreme a response. However, seeking it out as the centerpiece of your viewing evening would be a mistake of untold proportions. (Kozo 2001/2002)

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

image courtesy of Mei Ah Laser Disc Co., Ltd. Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen