Lady Cop & Papa Crook (Variety Review)

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Lady Cop & Papa Crook (Variety Review)

Postby dleedlee » Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:16 pm

"Lady Cop & Papa Crook"

Written by Derek Elley
(Hong Kong/China)

A Media Asia Films (Hong Kong)/Beijing Silver Moon Prods., China Media Asia (China) presentation of a Pop Movies production. (International sales: Media Asia, Hong Kong.) Produced by John Chong. Executive producers, Chong, Xue Guizhi. Directed, written by Alan Mak, Felix Chong.

With: Sammi Cheng, Eason Chan, Zhang Guoli, Dong Yong, Chapman To, Michelle Ye, Richie Jen, Conroy Chan.

Lady Cop & Papa Crook," the sophomore co-helming outing (after the buddy movie "Moonlight in Tokyo") by key "Infernal Affairs" creatives Alan Mak and Felix Chong, is an interesting misfire. High-concept comedy-drama of cops and crooks forced to coexist during a kidnapping investigation is notable for the return to the screen after three years of popular singer-comic Sammi Cheng, who ensured strong opening biz but couldn't combat weak word-of-mouth.

All shades and power-dressing, Cheng is fine as Inspector Maureen Szeto, who's a whiz at work but hasn't been laid by her b.f. in years. When the young son of Hong Kong oil smuggler John Fok (Eason Chan, colorless) is kidnapped, Szeto & Co. set up camp in Fok's home, where cops and crooks uneasily collaborate on solving the case. Increasingly complex plot, involving a Mainland cop (Dong Yong) also after Fok, and multiple double-crossings -- mostly played out within the claustrophobic setting of Fok's home -- never finds the directorial assurance or character chemistry to balance comedy and drama, especially in the odd-couple pairing of Szeto and Fok. Reshoots ordered by Chinese authorities to show crime doesn't pay delayed the pic's release.

Camera (color), Fung Yun-man; editor, Kwong Chi-leung; music, Chan Kwong-wing; production designer, Bruce Yu; art director, Stanley Cheung. Reviewed at Shaw Lido 5, Singapore, Jan. 6, 2009. Original Cantonese title: Dai saucha chi nui. Running time: 90 MIN.
饮水思源 Better to light a candle than curse the darkness; Measure twice, cut once.
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