Reviewed by: mrblue
Finger on Trigger stars Stanley Fung as Yau, a ex-cop who has taken to becoming an assassin in order to pay for his son's kidney transplant. After a particularly high-profile hit on a businessman, the HKPD brings in the hot-headed K.K. (Melvin Wong) in order to solve the case. K.K. soon puts the pieces of the puzzle together, but things become much more complicated when it is revealed that K.K. used to actually be Yau's subordinate in the police force.
Reviewer Score: 6
This film was a fairly obscure release from Golden Harvest that managed to last a total of four days in theatres, and has since drifted in to the realms of oblivion. But it's actually not all that bad. Sure, Finger on Trigger has its' share of problems -- most notably that it's never explained why Yau left the police force, even with a good deal of time devoted to flashbacks.
Also, Yau's kid is once again a good example of why Hong Kong movies shouldn't have kid actors in them. What the hell is the deal with these brats? During the scene when the lil' moppet tries combining breakdancing with wushu, I wanted to throw a brick at my TV. Oh yeah, there's also an extremely annoying woman thrown in as well, in the form of Margaret Lee, who plays Yau's pseudo-girlfriend.
Thankfully, though, Finger on Trigger is saved by the two leads. Melvin Wong is as smarmy and suave as ever, and it was nice seeing Stanley Fung in a more serious role versus the usual supporting comic relief he's known for.
Combined with a solid final act that features some very violent action, and a "shocking" ending that is actually satisfying, Finger on Trigger ends up being worth a recommendation, albeit a mild one. Sure, this isn't one the level of the A-class movies Hong Kong was producing during this period, but there's certainly a lot worse ways you can kill ninety minutes out there.
Note: this review is based off of the Mainland version, which apparently has some sizable cuts. Most of them occur during the robbery/standoff sequence, and a sex scene between Fung and Lee has been totally removed.
[review from www.hkfilm.net]
Reviewed by: Frank Lakatos
Summary: A Golden Harvest oddity
Finger on Trigger is an oddity for a Golden Harvest movie. The movie is directed by Aang San, who directed those unserious mediocre slow Taiwanese cop movies, notably The Trap(1982) with the wasted Pai Ying. Aang San does the same here, directing a a technically mediocre, almost uninteresting cop movie, but he tries to be stylish, resulting in a few scenes that standout from this otherwise standard early 80's cop movie. What is even more surprising is that the script is worse than the direction. With such a combination of poor talent, some might say that this is a plain, uninteresting movie, and to an extent, they are right. This movie borders on tedious at times. But, even though it's is lacks technical stylishness, this is still a stylish HK movie. Besides the modern elegant setting, this movie is loaded with stock music scores, all the way from the Enter the Dragon scores, to the funky disco scores used in the Bruce Li movies, all the way to the scores used in HK and Taiwan at the time, and the scores never let up, it's one stock score after an other, very well edited together and chosen, and chosen in abundancy. What is also interesting is Stanly Fung, whop is purposely or not miscasted, to play the everyday man by day, and hitman by night. The everday man in the day act works, but he's one dimensional. He's just not suave or intense enough to play a hitman in a movie, but Stanley does try to make a contrast between his two personalities, even though hsi differences in personality are small. His sex scene is atrocious, and his most awkward horrible moment on screen ever, but he handles the ridiculousness by brushing the act off like it's nothing, as Stanely brushes off everything in his movies. He's just a cool guy, but not cool enough to play a hitman. Basically, he just plays himself and doesn't try to force an awkward out of character act out of himself, as I guess that would look really awkward, and Stanley knew that, so he did the chacaterizations his way, they way he thought would look good, and I respect that, if that's the case. What's even stranger is that Taiwanese character actors Pak Sha Li and his long time onscreen buddy Chan Lau play robbers. The play comedic characters as usual, robbers this time holding up hostages for ransome, but they are out of place in their scenes, which are meant to be serious and tense, as the cops move in and set up in nicely choreographed scene, while they fumble around. It's as if two different movies were put together in that scene. The best part of the movie is Stanely Fung's condo assasination of a mob boss and his fight in the warehouse when he goes to pick up his money, which surprised me, becaue Stanly looks good in this fight, showing agility and gritty intensity which equals that of any HK action star. The final fight is as bad as any mediocre unserious Taiwanese cop movie from the late 70's and early 80's. What's even worse is that the action scenes lack the loud kickboxing sound effects Golden Harvest used during the time this movie was made weren't used in this movie, and that takes SO MUCH away from the impact and power of the movie, and could have helped the movie immensly. Director Aang San tries to keep the mood serious, but he is unfortunately too used to making mediocre techincally plain movies, and it shows through 80% of this movie. It seems as if Aang produced this movie, because either the actors were used in underpriviledged Taiwanese productions, or the actors are just too mediocre and generic. They could have used Leung Ka Yan in this movie, for either role. They used his porsche from Profile in Anger(1982/84), and Leung should have been in it! Melvin Wong Gam San is as elegant as ever, adding class to this directionless production, even though he is poorly used, through bad direction and a bad script. Bad production work and poor investing by the producers at Golden Harvest. Technically, this movie isn't better than a Taiwanese cop movie made around this time and earlier. Watch this movie for the tons of neat stock music and that elegant and stylish mid 80's feel. Much of the stock scores were used in taiwan, so I wonder if Aang San had a hand in chosing the music. I have never seen an HK movie that used this many stock scores. It adds style and contrast to the movie. It's one of the movie's redeeming qualities, besides the 80's elegant style and beautiful HK scenery. This review comes from viewing the Deltamac VCD release of this movie, which is in excellent in reception and format quality. ***(for the music and elegant mid 80's feeling, the condo assasination scene, the first warehouse fight, not for the rest of the movie)/*****