給爸爸的信 (1995)
My Father Is a Hero


Reviewed by: Hyomil
Date: 04/07/2011


Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 10/30/2010


Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Chungking_Cash
Date: 02/04/2010

Wong Jing reunites Jet Li and Tze Miu from the controversial producer's own "The New Legend of Shaolin" (1994) and passes the directorial duties over to the aforementioned film's action choreographer Corey Yuen Kwai who manages to reignite the likeable one-dimensional chemistry between former and current wu shu protégés in this occasionally touching, often hyper active, largely superior father and son offering.

Bonnie Fu, in her final performance to date, is unrecognizable sans cosmetics in a much-welcomed turn as the frail matriarch.

Writer Sandy Shaw flushes Wong's usual reliance on toilet humor much to our relief though "My Father is a Hero" is still too violent -- as cartoonish as it may be at times -- to be considered solid family entertainment.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 01/09/2006
Summary: some remarkable stunts!

Following the success of New Legend of Shaolin, Tze Miu was again teamed with Jet Li in a modern day action-adventure story. Scripted by Sandy Shaw from a story by producer Wong Jing, My Father is Hero was directed by Corey Yuen Kwai. Jet Li is cast as a mainland undercover cop who is so far undercover his ailing wife and young son don't even know he's a policeman. The cast also features Anita Mui, Yu Rong-Guang and Ken Lo in supporting roles. A remarkably well crafted film, "My Father is Hero" is one of the best films made in Hong Kong during 1995.

The opening sequence of the film is almost perfect. Cross-cutting one scene with Tze at a martial arts tournament waiting for his dad and a scene with Jet on duty busting a crook and hurrying to his son's competition, Yuen Kwai sets up the close loving relationship that the two of them share. The sequence culminates with Jet and Tze brushing and rinsing their teeth and practicing Breathless Kung Fu in their morning ritual.

My Father is Hero is full of action and features some remarkable stunts with Jet and Tze doing lots of wire fu. As in New Legend, Tze is featured on his own and with other child actors at school. When Jet is sent to Hong Kong for undercover work, he is arrested and taken away in front of family and neighbors to protect his secret identity. The kids at school ridicule Tze about his dad, but the young individual stoically takes the abuse. Forced to defend himself and his sickly mom, Tze kicks butt just like his dad.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 01/08/2006

Has some classic moments, but Cory Yuen goes too over the top too often, and the film feels a little 'cheap'. Worth seeing for Tse Miu's fierce performance.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 12/31/2005
Summary: An entertaining mess

Gung Goo, the son of PRC undercover cop Gung Wai, has a really tough life. He lives in poverty, his father deserts him, his mother dies in his arms, the bullies at school try to pick on him every day, he is choked almost to death—twice—and is pronounced dead at a hospital. Two new adults come into his life; one becomes his new favorite uncle but he also dies in Gung Goo’s arms; the other is trying to track down his father who is wanted in Hong Kong as a murderer. He gets thrown through a glass table, slapped around by a number of people and hit, kicked and stomped upon by Po Kwong, the biggest guy in the movie. He has a very tough life.

“My Father is a Hero” is a bathetic, tearjerking melodrama with a number of action scenes integrated into it and a plot with no surprises. I was concerned at first that it might have been a case of art predicting life when I read a short synopsis mentioned that Jet Li’s character had a terminally ill wife and that the female star was Anita Mui. This is not the case, of course—Anita plays Inspector Fong Yat Wa, a Hong Kong cop who can shoot it out with the bad guys and get teary-eyed over the plight of Gung Goo and his family. Bonnie Fu is Li Xia, the doomed wife who wastes away beautifully and dies nobly. Jet Li plays Jet Li, the extraordinarily strong silent type who can take an inhuman amount of punishment while meting out even more to hordes of bad guys. He does a very decent job in scenes with Tze Miu, the young actor who spent a good bit of his Hong Kong film career as Jet Li’s son. Yu Rong-Guang does the best he can in a terribly written part, playing a gang leader without an ounce of glamour, style or anything else that would cause bad guys to be loyal to him. He spends as much time beating up his subordinates as he does planning and carrying out robberies. As Jet Li’s principal nemesis he has a lot of fights including one that he almost wins while hanging from the undercarriage of a speeding truck. He also has what must be surgically implanted dark glasses—he is punched in the face, kicked in the head, shot, thrown off a balcony and choked with a rope but his Ray-Bans don’t move an inch.

The themes of the movie are announced early on: the personal toll of the terrible loneliness suffered by the undercover police officer combined with the constant personal danger he is in; the longing for the approval (or even presence) of his father that Gung Goo feels and his total loyalty to his father. Everyone in the movie is touched by the relationship between Gung Wai and his son. It comforts Li Xia on her deathbed, draws Inspector Wa inexorably into the family circle and is a key part of thwarting Po Kwong at several points.

The action scenes range from excellent to not particularly good, a bit of a surprise with Corey Yeun at the helm. A scene in which Gung Wai is finally discovered to be an undercover cop begins pretty well with a showdown in an alley between Jet Li and Yu Rong-Guang plus various thugs but degenerates to the point of incomprehensibility when the two combatants are almost run over by a truck and the fight continues on, in and under the vehicle. This scene was done in a murky dark blue, either with filters or afterwards during editing—but however it was done, it made the action difficult to follow. The final fight scene was terrific, with Gung Wai taking on a literal boatload of bad guys aided only by his son and, at the very end, the (also almost literal) deus ex machina intervention of Inspector Wa, who drops from the sky with guns blazing. This scene is Jet Li at his very best, as fit, skilled, agile and, as a fighter, charismatic as anyone has ever been on the screen. It also shows just how good Corey Yuen can be.

The fight begins as the plan to steal millions falls apart. Yu Rong-Guang and two of his henchmen are on a balcony overlooking an auction floor where the panicked buyers of looted antiquities are handing over their money. Jet Li appears below to tell the hoodlums that he has thwarted their plans and is attacked from all sides. Using a right angled policeman’s baton—the same weapon wielded by his attackers—he dispatches them quickly and brutally. The first are simply clubbed to the deck while others are dealt with in more outlandish ways. One, for example, spun around and dropped to the floor using a pole that was stuck in his mouth. Yu Rong-Guang and his two assistant thugs then join the fray. The three of them together are just about a match for Jet Li and think they are closing in for the kill when his son arrives. The two of them prove almost invincible, twirling heavy ropes to trip, flay and strangle the bad guys. Unfortunately for them Yu Rong-Guang actually is invincible—even after Inspector Wa shoots him a few times, Jet Li chokes him and then shoots him and he falls 20 feet and lands with a thud he still has a bit of fight in him. It takes a huge bomb going off immediately under him to finally put paid to his criminal career.

“My Father is a Hero” is an entertaining if very messy mix of bathos, high drama, low comedy and action. It hurtles along at such a blistering pace that the abrupt shifts from one genre to another are barely noticeable and allows all of the featured actors to shine at various times. Some of the set design both derivative and ingenious—for example the scenes in which Inspector Wa and Gong Wai first confront each other are set in a sidewalk restaurant with a lot of glass, some of which forms the basis for a waterfall. It is a very odd place for the deal that is going down—an exchange of money for explosives, since such things, at least in the movies, are generally transacted on abandoned piers or dark warehouses—but as a setting for mayhem it served very well. At first it seemed too obvious—lots of glass to break—but the combination of gunfire, explosions, hurtling cars, hysterical bystanders and stupid criminals was perfectly placed. Even the pool at the foot of the obliquely angled waterfall served an important purpose in continuing the action.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Arshadnm6
Date: 04/12/2005
Summary: Martial Arts Adventure with Jet Li and Tze Miu, taking on the sidious Yu Rong-Guang.....

A mainland policeman (Jet Li) reluctantly has to leave his poverty-stricken family and go undercover in Hong Kong as a member of an elite gang of thieves. To make things difficult, a tough Hong Kong policewoman (Anita Mui – ‘Moon Warriors’, ‘Miracles’, ‘The Executioners’) investigates the undercover policeman, eventually leading her back to his family in mainland China. The undercover policeman therefore finds himself submerged in his fake identity until the investigating policewoman returns to Hong Kong with his young now-motherless son (Tze Miu – seen also starring with Jet Li in ‘New Legend of Shaolin’ aka ‘Red Dragon’). The undercover policeman must save his son in this game of hidden identity and double-crossings without revealing his true identity to the ruthless leader of his gang (Yu Rong-Guang from ‘Iron Monkey’, ‘Vampire Hunters’).

This movie is an action-adventure; action directed by the double-teaming duo Corey Yuen Kwai and Yuen Tak and was produced by Wong Jing with laugh-out-loud moments and a dose of suspense/intrigue. The storyline is quite simple but offers some great acting to make it watchable and features some great action and moments of madness which would normally be impossible for characters placed in the realistic circumstances to face. The best feature of the movie involves the last fight where Jet Li and Tze Miu team up to face Yu Rong-Guang and two of his gang buddies. The action is also very innovative although not very frequent. Also, the actors seem a little too instinctive to be real and the hyper-kinetic lunatic approach by Yu Rong-Guang offers too much for the audience to maintain any sense of realism. Although, the main nemesis, Yu Rong-Guang lacks any character all of the other actors certainly do not. Also, the selection of location is wonderful as it contrasts a high-classed skyscraper-laden Hong Kong against the poor backdrop of narrow alleyways in mainland China.

The length of the movie is about right and carries some surprises. However, perhaps the main nemesis role did not suit Yu Rong-Guang. Furthermore, the movie is very serious throughout and the chemistry between certain actors (particularly involving Jet Li and Tze Mu in a father and son role respectively) was visible and worked wonderfully. Surprisingly, this movie has no intimate scenes unlike Wong Jing’s influence in other previous works (Thankfully!!!). Moreover, Anti Mui carries very little emotion and does not over excel in any particular area of acting as a 2-dimensional heroine.

Overall, this feature is great fun but looks unpolished in some areas since it lacks charisma and a sense of aiming to exceed and rake in viewers. Perhaps this movie was not intended to be anything special but could have experimented with a few original concepts to make it stand out from the crowd.

Overall Rating: 6.7/10

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: balstino
Date: 05/02/2003
Summary: Good Fights, too sentimental though

Errrm, I liked it in places, a nice idea and they tried hard to get some real emotion in this film. The action, especially at the end is mental but overall it wasn't a great movie.


Reviewed by: jasonlau128
Date: 06/04/2002
Summary: shit

nuff said.


Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 05/05/2002
Summary: Average

[2.5/5]


Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 01/13/2002

Jet Li's transition into modern actionaires wasn't quite as successful as he would have liked. As a huge fan, I think he should have sticked to period films, what he really excels in. Still looking good, Jet Li's My Father is a Hero offers nothing new. He failed to distinguish himself from other stars. Still, this is a great piece; you just need some patience.

The story takes a while to warm up, and for a while you won't know what's going on. Once warm, it gets pretty exciting, even though it won't keep you on the edge of your seat. Some extremely corny moments with Jet Li's ill wife, who eventually died in the hospital while Jet Li is undercovering in Hong Kong. The scene where Jet Li receives the information that she has passed away is brilliantly constructed, as is the finale with Yu Rong Guang (no, not the kid-swinging; Yu Rong Guang looked so cool in one particular moment though), whose portrait of the evil boss is a bit overdone, but that doesn't have a bad effect towards the merit of the film. In the Mandarin version, several lines are altered from the original dialogues.

[7/10]


Reviewed by: resdog781
Date: 07/30/2001
Summary: just like everybody else

I expected a little more out of this one than I actually got...

I mean, don't get me wrong. The story isn't bad, even though it's really corny. And the action is okay, but I really thought Yu Rong Guang was horrible as the over-the-top villain, exaggerated to the point of self-parody. Blacky Ko did a really good job in this movie tho, as the lowlife gangster with a heart of gold. I really felt for his character.

And I expected a bigger finale, rather than just Yu Rong Guang and his two lackies up against Jet Li and Tze Mui. The idea of tying Tze Mui to a rope and swinging him around like a yo-yo was great though. And for a huge Hong Kong crime syndicate, none of the bad guys had guns. What the hell.

I guess I expected some sort of modern day version of "New Legend Of Shaolin"...Is that too much to ask?


Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 05/05/2001
Summary: Pretty good

This movie is good but the it's more a action movie with little comedy. I was a little disappointed with this but why..........not sure but it's still worth watching!!

7.25/10


Reviewed by: Warnerl
Date: 08/25/2000
Summary: aka The Enforcer in US/Canada

Again another dubbed release and a change in the title.


Reviewed by: Chuma
Date: 07/12/2000
Summary: Attack of the yo-yo kid!

Jet Li stars as Kwai, an undercover cop who is always promising
to do things for his son, but only shows up in the nick of time
to watch him win the Kung Fu tournament (in a sequence that would
make Mr Miagi proud), and on many other occasions.

On the way home from picking up his son's bravery award, Kwai
is arrested, but what his family doesn't know is that it's all
part of a cunning plan to arrest a major crime boss, as Kwai
is actually an undercover cop in the Chinese Police.

After making his escape from prison with one of the crime boss'
henchmen, the gang is planning their next heist on a rooftop
when the goon's suggestion of "Lets go into the bank tomorrow when
it opens and rob it!" is met by a punch that sends him flying off
the side of the building, Kwai only saves him by managing to come
up with a better plan in time to stop the boss stepping on his arm,
after which he pulls the goon (Uncle Darkie) back from the brink.

During a spectacular sequence in an all-glass restaurant
(not for very long though), we see a detective trying to chat up
the lovely Ms Fong (played by the same woman who is the
police officer in 'In the Line of Duty III'),
who ends up being taken hostage by Kwai
in a police car after the heist doesn't turn out to plan.

Back in China, Kwai's son Kun is getting picked on at school
and he is protected by his friend 'Fatty' for a time, but afterwards
he finds the bullies beating up Fatty and Kun beats them up.
About this time, Ms Fong turns up in China looking for information
on Kwai, when her search is fruitless with the Police, she tails
Kun back to his house (after a long walk), and then meets his mother
who makes up the story that she is actually 'Auntie Fong' to try
to allay Kun's fears about his Dad.

From this point, the story takes a rather interesting development
and Kun ends up going to Hong Kong with Auntie Fong, where much
mayhem ensues.

Despite having a plot that is somewhat similar to Police Story III,
I really liked this movie as it had all the best elements of Hong Kong
cinema in it that makes it probably one of the best in its genre.

The scenes where Kwai fights alongside Kun are particularly effective
(and funny at times, watch for the 'yo-yo kid attack'), but it may
not be for everyone as there are some scenes where bad stuff happens
to the kid which may upset some people.

I would recommend that you get this on video before Joel Schumaker
and the Holywood Star Machine make Jet Li 'COOL' and all his stuff
becomes really hard to get, barring that, just get it anyway as it
is one of the best HK action movies I've seen in years!

Rating : 10/10


Reviewed by: Mark
Date: 12/30/1999
Summary: A wonderful action melodrama

A wonderful action melodrama which delivers in every department: characters, story, action, and mystery (like, what the hell happened to the indefinite article in the title sentence?). Jet Li plays a Mainlander with a secret who joins a HK gang, and astounding kung-fu kid actor Tze Miu is his son who is left behind to take care of mum and wonder why the Chinese Army turned up to arrest dad. The heroic Anita Mui shows up as a Hongkie cop who is also on our man Jet's trail, unsure if he's a good guy or a bad guy. As if we didn't know already. Along the way you get police car driving into restaurant fu, Jet Li outrunning garbage truck fu, outrageous stuffed alsation fu (which is just as well, considering what Jet does to them), playground towell-fighting (kung fu style), and an admittedly silly but who cares scene where Jet twirls the kid around on a rope like a human yoyo.

This is Jet's most successful attempt to lose the Wong Fei Hong ponytail and prove that he is both a modern action hero and the most charismatic actor at work today.


Reviewed by: redbean
Date: 12/09/1999

The story is standard-issue-1940's-Hollywood-my-dad-maydo-bad-things-but-he-really -has-a-heart-of-gold (a la THE CHAMP and a slew of other movies that I can't think of at the moment), but it really works with Jet Li at his stoic best and Tze Miu at _his_ stoic best. The final fight sequence with the three villains against Jet Li is a lot of fun. The only thing I didn't like about MFIAH was the editing; some of the action sequences--particularly one involving a fight on a garbage truck-- were choppy and consequently, murky and disjointed.


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

This is an interesting film. There is a really good, solid plot behind this film, but not a ton of action. The last 30 minutes of the film have some standout moments, but I was hoping for a little more from the combo of Jet Li and the kid from New Legend of Shaolin, Tze Mui. Not only that, Iron Monkey himself, Yu Rong-Guang, is the bad guy. I had high hopes for this film action wise and was left feeling a little empty there, but came away with something because of the story.

(7.75/10)



[Reviewed by Dale Whitehouse]


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

HK Police Inspector Anita Mui is on the trail of under cover cop Jet Li, who's secretly trying to foil Yu Rong-Guang's nefarious smuggling ring. When Li's wife dies of some vague, lingering illness, Mui vows to help Li's orphaned kung-fu toddler (Tse Miu) and help solve the case. Stifling layers of sentimentality confound the martial arts action, which really doesn't get interesting until Li and his kid team up in the big finale a la New Legend of Shaolin. Yu Rong-Guong is just awful.

(2.5/4)



[Reviewed by Steve Spinali]

Reviewer Score: 6