Reviewed by: ewaffle
Love Soldier of Fortune is a very lightweight romantic comedy with a simple script, competent direction, a winning cast of comedy veterans and very basic, even by Hong Kong standards, below the line items like sets, costumes, hairdressing and makeup. The story revolves around Maggie Cheung, a Hong Kong DJ and the efforts of two men, one a successful singer/songwriter the other a piano tuner, to win her love. The piano tuner is helped by the ghost of his long dead grand-greatuncle who was a successful composer of pop tunes in the past. Based on the furniture, especially an antique looking Victrola type record player in his abandoned house into which Alan Tam moves, Uncle Go was active in the 1940s. He hasnt lost his touch, though, since he writes songs for his nephew Antonio who sells them to the insufferable musician Lam in order to buy food for Uncle Go. This brand of ghost needs regular nourishment and does very well on large helpings of candles. The songs are hits for Lam who is the other claimant for So See Dais heart.
Reviewer Score: 5
So See Dai has an odd outlook on life and love. On one hand she thinks very highly of innate talent and has already fallen for Lam based solely on the songs that he bought from Alan. Conversely she is very taken with Alan even though his only talent is perfect pitch which he uses in his piano tuning work. This comes out during a disastrous live interview that she does with Alan during which he becomes passionate when discussing how much he suffers when he hears something that is out of tune.
Sandra Ng as Candy brings her uniquely entertaining version of a love and sex starved woman, first going after Alan and then becoming involvedreally involvedwith a coworker Saridon, memorably underplayed by Nat Chan. Their coupling takes place as part of an extended sequence that has most of the laughs in the film. Uncle Go needs to distract them so he first sends Saridon sprawling. When that isnt enough he trips, pushes, pokes and nudges Candy and him into a passionate clutch on the couch. He then slides over to the piano, grabs Alans hands, moving them to play his latest song. In what might be a parody of a hyper-romantic pianist, Alans movements are exaggeratedly large and sweeping. There is the usual now you see him and now you dont camera work, with the ghost invisible when the camera takes the point of view of a character other than Alan but otherwise visible to the audience.
The lack of attention to (or lack of money spent on) the props, settings and costumes became more obvious as the movie went on. Sandra Ng as a femme fatale on the prowl was dressed in red and blackbut looked like she was wearing a scarlet opera cape over a black slip dress, not typical office attire. Maggie was stuck in dull colored sweaters and slacks that looked literally several sizes too large. An outfit like that can look cute once but until the very end it was they way she was dressed in every scene. Fortunately she had a lot of screen filling close-ups which are an essential part of any movie with herat it is for her fans one of which I am. She was still learning to act during her forced march through a movie every six weeks or so during the late 1980s but the camera never loved her more.
For those interested in ephemera, Maggies character said during her radio show that she was 168 centimeters tall and weighed 49 kilograms.
Reviewed by: hkcinema
It starred Alan Tam as a piano tunist. He secretly likes a DJplayed by Maggie. Sandra Ng is a secretary who likes Alan, while their co-worker played by "Ah Leck" likes Sandra. When Alan's mom moves to Canada, Alan is forced to move back to his dead grandparents' house haunted by his grandfather's ghost played by Fung Shui Fan(?) who writes music. After saving Maggie from an evil musician, Alan becomes friend with her. But needing money, Alan is forced to sell music written by his grandfather to the evil musician for really cheap. On the other hand, the musician makes lots of money from it. He even got Maggie to like his music and starts dating her until she found out they were written by Alan when she picks up a music sheet Alan dropped. She convinces Alan to sing and starts going out with him until Alan is starting to acts like the evil musician. She forces him to enter into a song writing competition which he is not doing so well because his grandfather decided to leave Canada for his long lost love.
[Reviewed by Lawrance W Lee]