It's a Drink! It's a Bomb! (1985)

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 03/08/2006
Summary: best film title ever?

george lam, margaret cheung (yeah, you can see why she uses 'maggie' these days) and john shum all witness a murder; the victim was working with a corrupt cop on a bomb that was housed in a can of pop. the cop waned to sell it to the japanese (eddy ko, who also appears in 'duel to the death' and 'postmen fights back' as an evil japanese killer, and elvis tsui, who has a hilarious kiss-curl), but his assistant hides the can and runs off before being killed by the japanese.

now george, maggie and john are trying to convince the police that there was a murder (the body was taken by the japanese and their story is so far fetched that no-one takes them seriously), avoid the japanese killers and piece together the clues to find the bomb.

a silly, but highly entertaining, comic and thrilling film. very good...

Reviewed by: Frank Lakatos
Date: 09/28/2005

It's a Drink, It's a Bomb!(1985) The mid 80's were a desparaging time for HK comedy writers. Not one HK comedic script were decent at that time, as for some reason, the writers just couldn't write a good comedy script. It was the beginning of the end for HK comedy, as bad comedies are still being churned out today in Hong Kong. If it wasn't for the classic action choreography, movies like My Lucky Stars, Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars, and the bandwagon of bad HK comedies and cutesy romance movie sat the time, HK cinema wouldn't be remembered or respected the way it is today. This movie is an example of HK's era of bad comedic scripts, and becaus eof the lack of real action, this movie isn't remembered. With Sammo Hung as chorepgrapher and producer, he does his best with the material, and churns out a few well choreographed action sequences, but it's truly out of place with thes eactors, since none of them are action actors. However, George Lam and John Shum steal the show with their insulting exchanges, and the welcomed presence of Eddie Ko and Elvis Tsui Kam Kong as the villains after the misfit team of Shum, Lam, and Maggie Cheung. The police station scene with the team are quite funny. It's also a Golden Harvest coproduction, since this mess of a script was carefully shot on a budget. If you have nothing to watc or are in a good mood, then this is a decent time waster. **1/2/*****

Reviewed by: cpardo
Date: 07/25/2005
Summary: silly but funny comedy

3 strangers get mixed up with some gangsters trying to sell a new explosive that looks like a soda can. The three decide to team up after they discover a corrupt cop is mixed up in the "can of bomb" operation.

Such a wacky idea for a setup for this action comedy: a bomb that looks like a can of soda that you activate by opening and throwing it like a grenade. I like the cast of the movie because they have fun with the material, I like pacing of the comedy and action gags with quick editing, and I like the creativity of the movie where all the unusual locations they shoot it, such as that Xmas party where they promote the soda (Sarsae), and John dresses up like Santa! Maggie is great in this early role. George Lam has a good time in the movie, and John Shum is obnoxious as usual, but he's supposed to be in comedies like this, but he talks so fast! I thought the music was repetitive but it worked for a silly film like this one. I liked the squaredance music they use in the trailer which seems to fit better. Good 80's film to laugh and enjoy.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: ButterflyMurders
Date: 06/05/2002

The first thing I have to say is-THE MUSIC IS ATROCIOUS! God, that HORRIBLE, CHEESY circus music! The only saving grace audio-wise is George Lam's song about three-quarters of the way through.

Apart from that, a pretty silly, feel-good, comedy. Basically your typical mid-80s fare. Who cares about the plot? That's in the way of the main idea of the film: to have a lot of fun, and it definitely seems the cast members had a great time filming this. A young Maggie Cheung is charmingly annoying, I suppose, while George Lam is his usual solid self.

And John Sham? There are times when I wished he would speak normally, as opposed to the country hick accent he adopts for most films. He actually can speak quite nicely. But in his defence, he's not THAT annoying. His character reminds me of a hyperactive labrador puppy. Just imagine him like that and you'll be fine. 6/10

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 04/24/2002
Summary: Decent comedy

Before Stephen Chow broke through with his "moy len tau" (nonsense) style of comedy, most Hong Kong comedies were fairly sedate. There were, of course, exceptions, such as Jackie Chan's increasingly manic kung fu works and the Hui brothers' fast-talking Cantonese-dependent films, but for the most part, comedic pictures in Hong Kong were about as threatening as an episode of Full House. It's a Drink, It's a Bomb fits into this mold -- it's as fluffy as a marshmellow -- but thankfully not quite as sickly-sweet as the Olsen Twins.

The story has three strangers (tomboy Maggie Cheng, cabbie John Shum and scientist George Lam) coming together after a strange series of events has them being chased by a couple of Japanese bad guys played by Eddy Ko Hung and Elvis Tsui. Tsui, now known as the "crazy bald guy" from a number of Category III films, is almost unrecognizable with a slicked-back hairdo and lipliner -- gotta love those 80's fashions! I must say one of the pleasures of watching these older movies is seeing actors who were just starting to find their bearings in the Hong Kong movie industry, often with much different results than their career path would later take them.

At any rate, the Japanese think the trio are holding a can of soda that is actually a powerful explosive. However, Maggie and company do not have it -- in fact, they have no idea what exactly the Japanese want -- so when they go to the police for help, they are turned away as being crazy. Eventually, the trio piece the puzzle together and, with some stumbling and fumbling along the way, manage to save the day.

Plotwise, It's a Drink, It's a Bomb doesn't really make much sense. It seemed strange to me that the Japanese would go through so much trouble to get an explosive, that when detonated, seems to be only as powerful as a grenade. Why not just kill the trio? I guess that would result in a pretty short movie, though. And even though it's a given that the cops portrayed in these kinds of movies are thick-headed, the ones in here (mostly Melvin Wong) are so dimwitted, it makes you wonder how they can find their keys, much less enforce the law. However, things move along fast enough that the viewer can forgive its' shortcomings -- to a point.

The point of breaking in It's a Drink, It's a Bomb is John Shum's performance. I have never been a fan of his work -- he always seems to be trying to hard to be funny with his annoying "manic nebbish" personality, and he sticks out like a sore thumb here in contrast to George Lam and Maggie Cheung's more relaxed work. Shum really grinds down the movie in parts, and frankly, if it wasn't for Maggie Cheung, I would have switched off the movie halfway through.

Cheung at this early point in her career wasn't known as a great actress, but she sure displayed a lot of charm, which she puts out in spades here. She is just so cute in It's a Drink, It's a Bomb that it's hard to stay at the movie for long. While it's nothing great, It's a Drink, It's a Bomb makes a nice change of pace from toilet jokes and ultra-violence, and deserves a viewing if you're a fan of Maggie Cheung.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/12/2002
Summary: Funny, but stupid

During the Golden Age of the Hong Kong movie industry, the comedies were being churned out one after another. In my opinion, there were probably only about 10% of those that were any good, that's not to say that they were not funny. This movie is the latter.

It's pretty dumb at times, but some of the jokes are very funny. George Lam was a great comedian most of the time, and together with John Shum, they made it work great. Maggie Cheung in another early role too, looking very nice back then. But not being used as an actress as much as being on the screen looking nice. The story is pretty much nothing, but it's worth seeing. I would not count this movie as being a comedy classic of any sort, but if you want a good laugh, you should check it out...but there are plenty of other gems out there!

Rating: 2.5/5

(This rating is based on the year & genre, so don't think it's based as a comparison on new releases etc.)

Reviewed by: jfierro
Date: 12/21/1999

Laid-back scientist George Lam, fast-talking taxi-driver John Sham, and spunky bicyclist Maggie Cheung are brought together when they witness the murder of a man trying to keep a destructive bomb (disguised as a can of soda pop) out of the hands of some evil Japanese. When the police refuse to believe their story, they decide to find the bomb/soda can themselves, all the while being chased by two Japanese killers. Fairly silly but fun to watch.

Reviewed by: spinali
Date: 12/08/1999
Summary: NULL

It's stupid! It's fun! A motorcyclist, a bicyclist, and acabbie (George Lam, Maggie Cheung, John Sham) are pursued by a pair of evil Japanese hitmen to retrieve a can of soft drink, the only complications being that the can is actually a soft drink grenade capable of blowing up a city block, and the trio doesn't know where it is. Uneven comic adventures enlivened by several amusing gags, and a young Maggie fresh from winning her Miss Hong Kong title.


[Reviewed by Steve Spinali]

Reviewer Score: 6