Director: Alan Mak and Felix Cheong
Cast: Sammi Cheng, Eason Chan, Zhang Guoli,
Kate Tsui, Chapman To, Liu Kai Chi, Wilfred Lau, Ritchie Jen,
Michelle Ye, Michelle Loo, Lok Ying Kwang, Ricky Chan
1 hr 31 mins
Released By: Shaw
Official Website: http://www.mediaasia.com/lcpc/
Opening Day: 1 January 2009
John Fok (starring Eason Chan) is the kingpin of illegal red
oil in Greater China. When an oil tanker explodes accidentally,
he becomes the focus of investigation by Hong Kong and Mainland
Chinese police and is forced to halt his business to wait
things out. While his business rivals start closing in, a
member of his household is planning to betray him. On the
surface, John seems totally helpless, but in reality, he’s
been staging a major comeback for months. Just as he is finally
ready to turn his fortune around, his only son is kidnapped!
Inspector Molline Szeto (starring Sammi Cheng) is the rising
star of the Police force. She is praised for bursting crimes
with her sangfroid and precision. However, in matters of love,
she is totally at wits’ end. After dating the same man
for more than ten years with no likely prospect of an imminent
wedding, she is determined to cut the knot once and for all,
before she becomes too old to give birth. Poised at the cross
road of her life, she is thrilled to be assigned to investigate
the kidnap of John’s son.
dispatches his whole gang to ferret his son’s whereabouts,
only to find out that his rivals are redeploying people in
China to assail him. Just when he is about to order an all-out
fightback, Molline suddenly arrives with her team to garrison
his house. Spurning her at first, he soon finds her critical
analysis of situation at hand both apt and useful. An unlikely
cooperation between cops and crooks thus ensues, leading to
conflicts and clashes galore at every step till the end.
Lady Cop is the highly intelligent but slightly neurotic senior
detective Molline Szeto (Sammi Cheng), frustrated by her unexpected
and unwelcome pregnancy by her unaccomplished boyfriend/ sculptor
of 13 years.
Crook is illegal oil syndicate kingpin John Fok (Eason Chan),
happily married with a wife and son, but a wanted criminal
by the Mainland police. The two cross paths when Papa Crook’s
son is kidnapped by persons unknown demanding a HK$80 million
back, Sammi Cheng! It has been three years since we’ve
seen you on screen. Lest one forgets, Sammi was once considered
one of the most bankable stars at the Hong Kong box office.
Why then was this, her supposed comeback film, delayed several
times, only managing to secure a confirmed release date now?
that’s because despite its interesting title and quirky
characters, this action comedy by writer-director duo Felix
Chong and Alan Mak is pretty much a disappointment. Indeed,
the pair has in the past shown great flair for writing (think
Infernal Affairs, Initial D and Confession of Pain) but Lady
Cop and Papa Crook is unfortunately not among one of their
their credit however the movie gets off to a strong start
as we are introduced to Lady Cop going undercover at a social
club and getting accosted by three male escorts (played to
great hilarity by Ritchie Jen, Vincent Kok and Tin Kai-Man).
But their subsequent attempts at injecting comedy- like how
Lady Cop’s boyfriend manically uses an electric drill
to carve up a corrugated steel sculpture in their house- appear
to try too hard and end up falling flat.
for their effort in creating a whodunit mystery around the
kidnap of Papa Crook’s son. Alas writers-directors Chong
and Mak have once more worked overtime- this time at surrounding
Papa Crook with too many questionable characters. The result
of which only confuses more than intrigues right up to the
almost anticlimactic ending.
more, in having to balance the subplots of these several other
characters, less time than desired is left for the main characters
Lady Cop and Papa Crook to interact. And that is a shame-
because the inevitable conflict and unlikely cooperation of
Cop and Crook in solving the whodunit is probably the most
intriguing part of the movie.
Sammi Cheng once again demonstrates why she was once the queen
of the Hong Kong box office. In her first ever detective role,
she injects much pizzazz to play the idiosyncratic Lady Cop.
Ostensibly, her three year hiatus has not dimmed her on-screen
Eason Chan is given much less to work with as the kingpin
Papa Crook but the versatile actor-singer is watchable as
ever. The stellar ensemble supporting cast also give the flagging
plot a much needed boost, especially Chapman To as a detective
on Lady Cop’s team trying to steal the affections of
a school teacher whom Papa Crook’s bodyguard has a soft
its star power, and the pedigree of its writing-directing
duo, Lady Cop and Papa Crook is at best underwhelming. It
barely manages to deliver the action, and fares only slightly
better with comedy. Once again, like their previous Moonlight
in Tokyo, the pair’s sophomore directorial effort shows
that while they may have flair in writing, they have much
less panache when juggling both writing and directing.
(The Queen of the Hong Kong box office deserves a
better comeback than this half-baked action comedy)
Review by Gabriel Chong