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化骨龍與千年蟲 (1999)
He Is My Enemy, Partner and Father-in-law

Reviewed by: David Harris
Date: 06/09/2000

Review courtesy of Hong Kong Superstars (www.hksmag.co.uk)

This film again sees the superstar-to-be Nick Cheung team up with a veteran of the Hong Kong film scene. Last time it was Chow Sing Chi but this time it is Danny "Cop" Lee - please excuse the sarcasm but he plays cops more often than Simon Yam plays gangsters (for Danny Lee it's not a matter of typecasting as I think he actually likes it) !

It's almost like the chicken / egg question - I'm not sure he existed before he played a cop in a film. In all seriousness though he does make the perfect cop and he has given a pair of classic performances in a couple of top notch films during his career.

Those films are for me anyway "The Killer" obviously enough and the earlier but lesser-known film "The Law With Two Phases". In my opinion "The Law..." & "Long Arm Of The Law" are more responsible for shaping the modern cop / gangster film than any other films of their era (and that includes Jackie's classic "Police Story") but sadly neither of these two films get the public recognition that they so truly deserve because they are largely star-free zones.

A third of the way through this review and I've barely even mentioned the film I'm supposed to be reviewing. Nick Cheung plays a triad footsoldier called Stallone & Helena Law ("July 13th") plays his mum who fails to pay back the money she owes to his boss which results in Stallone taking a beating at the hands of Ho (his boss) and his men at their HQ.

Ho has by this time double-crossed a Taiwanese triad leader who comes to the same offices in order to exact revenge on Ho and his men. After the deed is done only one witness to the crime is left.....Stallone.

This brings him into contact with Officer Lee (Danny Lee). Y2K (Officer Lee's nickname) is nearing retirement (as they usually are) but is assigned the job of protecting Stallone from those who wish to tie up the only loose end linking them to Ho's murder.

Y2K's home life is somewhat unorthodox (his wife and daughter have been living overseas in Canada). They return only for his wife to demand a divorce which gives him a double headache (the protection of Stallone and a marital split).

Nick Cheung and Danny Lee play as you can probably guess play a mismatched "couple". Nick Cheung exhibits his comic persona again here (that isn't meant to sound critical as I find him a very personable performer) and Danny Lee plays a variation of his usual cop role (he even has a go at karaoke when he performs a duet with Nick).

The award winning Helena Law is great fun as his eccentric mum who has does more impressions than your average comedian. There is nothing new in this film (it is just a light-hearted comic romp) but thanks to the charisma and presence of Nick , Danny & Helena it succeeds in a modest manner - worth seeing if you get the chance and like a laugh.

Reviewed by: MilesC
Date: 03/24/2000
Summary: Modestly entertaining junk.

The more thought I give it, the worse this movie seems; plots and characters are set up and go nowhere, things that don't make much sense in the beginning don't make much more sense by the end, and the feel of the movie is late-'80s in the extreme, from the wildly varying tone right down to the wacky freeze-frame ending. But I stayed awake. I have only seen Cheung Ka-Fai in a few movies, but I think he could grow on me. But Helena Law Lan steals every scene she's in; it's a shame she's not in the movie more. Worth watching if you miss the '80s style; Aman Chang managed to make a watchable movie on what looks like practically no budget.

Reviewed by: ryan
Date: 11/21/1999
Summary: He is My Enemy, Partner and Father-in-law (1999)

Aman CHANG Man was very active at the beginning of the year, but he suddenly 'disappeared' in the middle of the year. Now he is back as his latest directing effort, 'He is My Enemy, Partner and Father-in-law,' is now showing in theatres. Also interesting is the movie's cast: Nick CHEUNG Ka-fai from 'The Conman,' Danny LEE Sau-yin, known for his many police movies, and Helena LAW Lan from the horror genre.

In the movie, a Taiwanese triad leader, KWAN Yuen, makes a deal with a local triad head, HO Yat-shan, but is betrayed by HO. KWAN decides to return to Hong Kong for revenge. Meanwhile, Stallone (Nick CHEUNG Ka-fai), a third-class triad member, and his mom (Helena LAW Lan) have failed to repay their debts to HO. Stallone is being beaten in HO's office when KWAN arrives to kill HO and his partners. Of course, Stallone is the only witness to the crime. Officer LEE (Danny LEE Sau-yin), an inspector known as Y2K and nearing retirement, is assigned to protect Stallone. The two men have totally different personalities, and they clash a lot during their time together. At the same time, Y2K's wife (LUI Yau-wai) comes back to Hong Kong with her daughter Angel (CHAN Sze-wing) and asks for a divorce, so Danny must try to save both his family and Stallone.

The title, 'He is My Enemy, Partner and Father-in-law,' describes the relationship between Stallone and Y2K, but there is very little here that is original. In fact, the character of Stallone is derived from Nick CHEUNG's successful turn as 'Dragon' from 'The Conman' (1998) and 'The Conman in Vegas' (1999). The whole character is just a clone of that one. On the positive side, being so experienced with this type of role, Nick CHEUNG Ka-fai gives a cool performance. Dannny LEE Sau-yin is once again playing the tough cop. Audiences should note that the pairing of the two is something they've seen countless times in the past.

The performance of Helena LAW Lan is more interesting. As Stallone's mother, she is able to pretend to be different types of people in different situations. Nonetheless, her character is more or less the same as what YIP Tak-han had done in 'Prince Charming' (1999).

Not only are characters 'borrowed' from other movies; the plot of 'He is My Enemy, Partner and Father-in-law' is very familiar. The scene in which Stallone is beaten by triad members is a duplicate of the one in 'Prince Charming.' They even repeat the use of Eric TSANG's television program, 'Super,' using part of 'Guess the Song.' It is very bizarre.

The movie has many sub-plots, such as the relationships between Y2K and his family and the one that develops between Stallone and Y2K's daughter, Angel. The filmmakers also throw in some Taiwanese triad maneuverings. However, these plot elements are simply thrown together, and nothing is really elaborated upon. There's just not enough here to impress the audience.

In short, 'He is My Enemy, Partner and Father-in-law' is just a collection of characters we've seen before (from Nick CHEUNG Ka-fai in 'The Conman' series and 'Prince Charming' to Danny LEE Sau-yin from his cop movies) in a plot that's been duplicated from other movies. Fortunately, the performances of Nick CHEUNG and Helena LAW Lan are still good or it would been a total loss.