AGENT MR CHAN (栋笃特工) (2018)

Genre: Comedy
Director: Jeff Cheung
Cast: Dayo Wong, Charmaine Sheh, C Kwan, Cecilia So, Michael Ning, Bob Lam, Ronald Cheng, Lawrence Cheng
Runtime: 1 hr 40 mins
Rating: PG13 (Some Sexual References)
Released By: Shaw Organisation 
Official Website: 

Opening Day: 15 February 2018

Synopsis:  Mr. Chan (Dayo Wong) was the top agent. Unfortunately he has been removed from duties right after a mission failure, his partner Wonder Child (C Kwan) made a mistake and offended the policewoman Ms Shek (Charmaine Sheh) unintentionally. 20 years after, Ms Shek has no choice but to put the problems aside and ask Mr. Chan for help in solving a mysterious case. With the evidence to show this case has been involved with a Cyber Goddess, Mr. Chan inevitably makes himself up in a sloppy appearance, and the situation became out of control.

Movie Review:

While Stephen Chow will always be remembered as the most influential and most popular HK comedians after veteran Michael Hui, there are others liked Ronald Cheng, Chapman To, Nick Cheung before he is an acclaimed actor and many others including Dayo Wong (two from the above list actually made a guest appearance here).

Unlike his peers, Wong remains the handful of HK stars that has yet cracked the juggernaut of the movie industry- the lucrative China market. Probably because most caught the audiences’ attention with their brash antics and loud humour, Wong on the other hand armed with his laidback attitude opts for more subtle, witty humour and dabbling in local subjects which in a way are much more appreciated in his native country than elsewhere.

Before you cursed and swear (a no-no during the Lunar New Year) and walked away feeling duped, it’s advisable to first walk into a screening of Agent Mr Chan equipped with this mindset- Wong is definitely not a comedian in the style and league of Chow or Cheng.

Agent Mr Chan marks Wong’s major feature in a very long, long time. The comedian who is more into talk shows, stage acts and the occasional television appearances in recent times plays an ex-secret agent who is tasked by the Chief of Police, Ms Shek (a desperately trying to be funny Charmaine Sheh) to solve a mysterious case involving famed personalities being drugged and ended up acting crazy in public. The victims include Ms Shek’s uncle, the secretary of finance (Lawrence Cheng), Sammi Cheng and Chi Lam (all playing themselves).

Written by four credited writers and Dayo himself, Agent Mr Chan is largely a spoof and parody of James Bond from weapons to costumes to even a submarine. The movie starts with Agent Chan tracking down a miniature nuclear weapon using Ms Shek as a cover to get near to her weapon trafficking uncle (Jim Chim). The brief opening established Agent Chan as a smart, suave agent while Ms Shek from that moment on hatches a grudge against Chan for using her. Right from the start, you know this is going to be a movie filled with exaggerated acting, lame corny jokes that somehow even has difficulty rolling out of Dayo’s well-oiled tongue and bad CGI and this is just the prologue.

Speaking about a direct spoof of the James Bond movies, one can’t help but recall Stephen Chow’s From Beijing With Love, an instant comedy classic despite it’s a 1994 movie with horrendous production values. Still it managed to do one thing it set out to do- that is to tickle you pink and entertained you. Agent Mr Chan however jumped from one tedious unfunny gag to another. There’s a prolonged scene that has Chan and his loyal sidekick, the HK version of Q (played by a not-so-funny FAMA’s C Kwan) trying out a new, untested VR device to force three suspects to reveal their inner thoughts. What’s supposed to be a funny and uproarious scene turned out to be neither.

The same goes to the actual crime which involves one member of a pop group called “Happy Girls” and a drug called “HY DO GEN” (trust us, it makes more sense in Cantonese). And you thought it’s going to a far more sinister plot in the making. A mid-sequence gag that has Chan masquerading as a geeky fanboy is pretty hilarious though it’s absolutely not possible to salvage a tiresome movie. For a comedy, it simply lacks the energy to sustain and all the while, you are wishing Dayo can come up with a far refreshing take on the parody material.

The only entertaining aspect of Agent Mr Chan is the countless stars appearing in it (it’s a CNY movie after all!). You probably can spot Sandra Ng, Joyce Cheng, Cheung Tat-man, Alan Tam for no reason has to croon a song just because he is Alan Tam, Grasshoppers and Ada Choi, last but not least Michael Wong parodying James Bond classic villain, Jaws and Hui Siu Hung as Goldfinger. When people liked Raymond Wong and Eric Tsang has shunned the Chinese New Year market for years, Dayo Wong’s Agent Mr Chan seems to fill up the gap with this lazy, clunky and unfunny mess of a spy spoof. 

Movie Rating:

(Functioning more liked a Wong Jing’s reject and you expect Dayo Wong to do better)

Review by Linus Tee

 


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