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vS (1990)
Look Out, Officer!

Reviewed by: cal42
Date: 12/04/2006
Summary: Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?

This film is so similar to Ricky Lau and Phillip Chan’s WHERE’S OFFICER TUBA? that it can more or less be regarded as a remake. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really use the ghost angle to the best advantage. I mean, the whole premise of having a character that only one person can see but whose actions affect the real world throws up all kinds of comedic possibilities, but the filmmakers seemed to have gone for the toilet humour angle instead.

The film treads familiar ground all the way – a veteran cop (Bill Tung) gets killed by a triad boss in the line of duty and comes back to earth to avenge his death so that he can enter heaven. However, he can only manifest himself to one person – and that person turns out to be a hapless police cadet (Chiao Sing-Chi). Throw in a former colleague and straight man (Fung Shui-Fan – who takes the term “long arm of the law” to a ridiculous degree) and his beautiful daughter (Vivian Chan – and make no mistake, she really IS beautiful) and you have all the ingredients for a top-notch slapstick caper. Except, as I’ve said, the whole thing gets bogged down in toilet humour. I even suspect that if this is the type of humour you like, you’ll find this so hackneyed and distasteful as to be largely unfunny.

Which is a shame. It does have flashes of...well, if not “greatness”, then certainly “adequacy”. The scene where Chiao faces a bunch of axe/stick wielding villains wearing sunglasses raised a smile, as did a couple of other scenes. But on the whole, it’s all a bit of a damp squib.

If you’ve never seen WHERE’S OFFICER TUBA? (which still remains an underrated film for the most part), seek it out immediately – it has more laughs and better action than this undercooked remake.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 08/08/2006

Look Out, Officer! centers around a young police cadet (Stephen Chow) who is haunted by his superior's (Stanley Fung) dead partner (Bill Tung). Chow is too spooked to work with the ghost at first, but after Tung promises that he'll help him woo Ng's comely daughter (Vivian Chan), Chow agrees to help get revenge on the drug smuggler that killed Tung. The only catch is, no one else can see Tung, and everyone around starts to think Chow is going crazy.

This early starring effort from Stephen Chow was done before his working with Wong Jing and the full fleshing out of his style of "nonsense" comedy. As such, viewers who have only experienced his later films like Shaolin Soccer might be disappointed, as the movie has a style and tone much closer to the comedies of the 1980's done by the other two stars of this film, Bill Tung and Stanley Fung -- whose careers were on the decline just as much as Chow's was in ascension at this point in history. That's not to say that Chow doesn't put on a good effort here. But, for the most part, he actually plays the straight man and is the subject (rather than the instigator) of many of the movie's jokes.

Still, there are some pretty funny segments, such as when Chow tries to avoid a doctor who gets a little too "hands-on" with his patients, and a wonderful (but painfully short) cameo from Amy Yip as the object of Stanley Fung's lascivious attention. Some of the comedy goes a bit too far into the toilet humor territory, most notably a sequence where Chow and Fung must get a virgin's urine, a cat's feces and "a genie's fart". I'm sure that last part puzzled you as it did me -- like most Stephen Chow movies, subtitles aren't exactly the best way to "get" a lot of the jokes. Semantics aside, do we really need to see Chow getting soaked by an old woman's pee while he holds a cup under her (thankfully clothed) crotch? And more importantly, do we really need to see a close-up of a cat taking a crap twice in one movie? I think not.

Yes, I know that I've given expolitative "trash" like Naked Weapon high marks, so the previous statement might come off as odd, but this segment almost threatens to derail the movie. Look Out, Officer! does redeem itself at the end with a decent action sequence, which manages to still be exciting and funny despite having some of the worst "special" effects this reviewer has ever seen. Overall, this is by no means Chow's best work, but it is well-done for the most part, and fans of his should enjoy it.

[review from]

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 07/24/2005
Summary: Boring!!

Chow Sing chi can only do so much for a weak movie with cheesy special effects and little laughs!! I guess you get to look at Amy Yip's cleavage but thats the only thing worth mentioning about this movie!!


Reviewed by: danton
Date: 08/12/2002

Early Stephen Chiau comedy that predates his ascension to superstar status. It's reminiscent of similar Jeff Lau style horror comedies and while it does take a while to get going, the final 30 minutes feature enough spells, acrobatics and cheesy special effects to make this a fairly enjoyable experience. Marginal recommendation.

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 02/03/2002
Summary: Funny remake of "Where's Officer Tuba?"

A remake of Sammo Hung's "Where's Officer Tuba?" starring Stephen Chiau in one of his first comedic roles.

Bill Tung is a cop who is killed on the job by a bad guy whose face he never sees, but whose armpit odour is particularly foul. Upon reaching the heaven immigration department he is surprised to discover that his death has been reported as suicide due to debts... so he bribes the official to let him go down to earth to clear his name & take vengeance. On earth, Stephen Chiau turns out to be his contact... much to Chiau's distress, but Uncle Bill persuades him to help with the promise of supernatural assistance wooing girls. Throw in Stanley Fung as Bill's ex-partner who is dabbling in Taoist magic, Fung's sexy daughter who becomes the object of Chiau's affections, a cameo from Amy Yip and the only 70 year old virgin in Hong Kong and you get a pretty crazy mixture!

It's all good fun, and reasonably well made - special effects are pretty good for the time and place. Uncle Bill & Chiau have good chemistry and... well, it's a very silly and often very funny movie! Not one I'd pick to introduce somebody to Chiau, or to HK Cinema, but for those who are well disposed towards both, the movie should be a rewarding watch. Probably not quite as good as the original overall though.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/12/2002
Summary: Funny at times

An average comedy with Stanley Fung & Stephen Chiau (or Chow, or whatever you want to call him). Poor story, bad editing, but overall quite funny.

Rating: 3/5

(This rating is based on the year & genre, so don't think it's based as a comparison on new releases etc.)

Reviewed by: Moro Turkey
Date: 09/12/2000

I'd only recommend this one to people who are obsessed with Stephen Chow (as I am.) He's appealing as usual, although not as cool and in-control as in his later movies. He has to help Bill Tung, a cop ghost out for revenge. Lots of bad production values and potty humor.