Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Summary: Very Good
When most films, especially comedies, make sequels they usually die out at number 2. However, Her Fatal Ways is probably in my mind the best film series ever in Hong Kong. Although number 4 is hardly a standout to the original, it still keeps an original concept and fresh ideas (including some jokes) to keep you as interested as the previous three films. Not to say this film is flawless, because there are some problems.
Reviewer Score: 8
The story is basically a continuation from the previous films, however, Dodo Chengs character has now moved to Hong Kong from the mainland and become an emigrant. While it kind of goes against the whole original idea of the relationship of a mainland police officer working with the big differences of Hong Kong, it does try to make out that Hong Kong does have advantages over the country as she has descided does indeed have advantages. She has lost a lot of political stature now she lives in Hong Kong and is much more of a free spirit, and goes through a lot of changes in her life which she usually would not have even thought of, including dating an Englishman who she meets (its worth mentioning that because of this almost half the film is actually in English!). Most of the story is a little confusing and is not really explained why some of high officials of the Royal Hong Kong police want to get rid of Cheng and her former police partner (Alfred Cheng). They conspire against the couple, and her cousin (Sandra Ng) and try to bring their family members from the mainland to gang up against them as well. It ends up revealing that the conspirers are actually members of the Liberation army, which makes things even more complicated as its still not explained why they are trying to get rid of the former police officers. Farces and even the odd (and very out of place) rip offs from certain films soon prevail and loses steam before the 90 minutes are up. I know this is a comedy, but unlike the other films there is no real seriousness about it, which is a shame in comparison to the others.
The main problem with the film is that the jokes are no longer funny in a political sense as the previous films, and some of it is ridiculous, getting to the more silly and stupid Mo Lai Tou type sequences, but the majority is still good comedy. My only real surprise is that Stephen Chow was never cast as an additional character to the film, as some scenes are more suited to him than anyone else in this.
Her character change is refreshing and to a certain extent very much needed in order to keep the film as interesting as the previous three, but it does loose its original grounds for the film. Saying that though, the Chinese name of the film, meaning Cousin, Youre Great (in regards to the views of a mainland Chinese referring to Hong Kong) seems the most fitting in this the last of the series, as she really does love Hong Kong more than ever.
It's worth mentioning too that the action sequences are of top quality, as were the other films, and another really good shoot out at the ends helps save the film from failing as a comedy alone.
Alfred Cheung had made another film a few years before this called His Fatal Ways which is basically a desperate attempt to re-fire the series using a male lead, but unfortunately was never much of an interesting film. Im just glad he managed to relight Her Fatal Ways without exactly ruining it like he did with that film.
Still, very much recommended as all of the films in the series, though perhaps not as an essential view as the previous three are.