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n (1985)
Modern Detective


Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 02/19/2010

There's no doubt that Lo Lieh is one of the true icons of Hong Kong cinema, especially for martial arts fans. But if Lo's 1985 directorial effort Modern Detective is any indication, maybe it's better for everyone involved that he has only stepped behind the camera a handful of times over his long career.

This plodding and boring excuse for a comedy fails to raise any real laughs, except for the chuckles generated from the horribly translated subtitles on the Fortune Star DVD, which includes gems like "sanitary napkins this blend". I know it's a internet cliche to poke fun at Hong Kong subtitles, but beggars can't be choosers. It was either paying attention to the rubbish Chinglish or watching the timer on the DVD player to see when this movie's (thankfully brief) eighty-five minutes were up.

Not surprisingly, Modern Detective comes to us via producer Lo Wei, a low-budget hack who managed to make sub-par pictures even when he was using Bruce Lee, and applied techniques like Triad "encouragement" to convince Jackie Chan to appear in his films. Perhaps Wei used similar tactics on Lo Lieh, or at least the end product seems to bear that out. This whole movie feels like it consists of scenes that were done in one take just so everyone could finish filming as quickly as humanly possible. The only bit of style or panache present in the entire production is Frankie Chan's appropriately cheeseball soundtrack, complete with enough fat bass and synth noodling for a dozen porno flicks.

Unfortunately, the closest thing to D-cups that you're going to see here is a shirtless Kent Cheng, which honestly really shouldn't be appealing to anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation. But if you're really a fan of seeing poor Kent sandwiched into uncomfortable situations, you'll go bananas for the part where he dresses up as a geisha girl. During the whole scene, Kent looks like he'd rather be anywhere else in the world besides on that set, and chances are, by that point in the movie, most viewers will probably want to be watching just about any other movie instead of this snoozer.

Reviewer Score: 3