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一觸即發 (1991)
Touch and Go

Reviewed by: cal42
Date: 12/15/2008
Summary: I loved it.

Everyman chef Fat Goose (Sammo Hung, as if you couldn’t guess) witnesses the murder of a police officer by a gang of extortionists running an illegal brothel. Goose is persuaded by Officer Pitt (Vincent Wan) to testify against Hell (Tommy Wong), the perpetrator of the crime, but when Hell is released on bail and wants to silence the witness, Sammo’s Goose appears to be well and truly cooked...

TOUCH AND GO (Also known as POINT OF NO RETURN, apparently) is an odd film for many reasons. First and foremost, it really doesn’t feel like a Ringo Lam film. Secondly, it stars Sammo Hung, who was truly going off the boil, creatively-speaking. Both men were suffering from poor social standing following insensitive comments or movie decisions at the time of this film. I don’t know if this was enough to sink the film, but make no mistake, it WAS a bomb.

Sammo returns to playing the kind of everyday loser he played in so many of his 80s films. He is the kind of man who pays prostitutes to pretend to be his girlfriend while he visits his over zealous mother in her retirement home, which is more endearing than creepy (but if you haven’t seen it, you’ll have to take my word for it). When he points the finger at the murderer only to see him leave the police station virtually a free man, his cowardly self-preservation is also quite realistic and strangely likeable. That’s one of this film’s main strengths, its likeable characters. Pitt, the cop who takes responsibility for Fat Goose, is suffering the loss of a friend after the gang kills the officer that starts the movie. He lives with his reporter sister Angel (Teresa Mo) in endearingly simple domestic chaos. The characters evolve quite nicely, with Pitt losing some of his uptight nature when he meets one of the victims of the sex trade (and former “girlfriend” of the villainous Hell) and even starts stealing stuff with her from a hotel room they share when surveying the gangsters’ hideout.

The film looks strangely rough for a Ringo Lam film, but there are plenty of nice touches and a fair amount of action. In particular, there are a series of really dangerous looking fire stunts throughout the movie and it looks like the actors themselves were in the thick of it. Although Billy Chow appears, he is sadly underused and only takes a few scant frames of film. But it’s certainly a cut above most of Sammo’s output from the period, even if it wasn’t necessarily a cut above Lam’s. As with most action flicks from the era, there is a fair amount of humour in here, and believe it or not, it’s all inoffensive stuff (except for a couple of toilet jokes) and some of it is pretty darn funny. If you’ve never seen this and been put off by its reputation, my advice is to give it a try. I think it’s greater than the sum of its parts, and I found myself thoroughly enjoying it.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: kiliansabre
Date: 03/04/2008
Summary: Flat effort from Ringo Lam

Fat Goose (Sammo Hung) witnesses a cop being killed one night while working late at his restaurant. Unfortunately the killers spot him and try to stop him, but Fat Goose manages to upstage them and escapes. Hesitantly Fat Goose calls the police and the dead cop's partner Pitt (Vincent Wan) takes Fat Goose to the station to testify against the "God of Hell" (Tommy Wong), the main murderer of the cop. The police can not hold God of Hell and are forced to let him go promising Fat Goose protection. This promise does not hold true when Fat Goose's house is burned down. Without any other option Fat Goose stays with Pitt and his reporter sister, Angel (Teresa Mo). As the investigation furthers a plot involving prostitution and pornography is revealed. Fat Goose wants nothing to do with it until Angel captures his heart and when God of Hell makes it personal Putt and Fat Goose must band together to put a stop to it all.

I thought this was actually pretty poorly paced and badly put together for a Ringo Lam film. The action in here is pretty intense as you would expect from Lam but for some reason this plays off like more of a comedy than an action movie most of the time which would be ok if the comedy wasn't so weak. For that matter the action was impressive at times but then just rather flat at other times. Sammo does have some hand to hand combat here, but it's not really the emphasis, instead we are given vehicle and gun based action for the most part.

The script here could have used a few more rewrites before it went to press, but at the time the industry was cranking out films at such a fast rate that I think many movies suffered because of it, this being one. When Sammo's character finally does reach the point of no return I didn't actually care enough about them for it to be as impactual as it should have been. It would be great to see this rewritten and remade keeping more consistent with the idea of an ordinary man with no worries being pushed to the point where he would be willing to risk his own life to save the life of those he's grown to care about. Now if this film was a good reflection of that plot line I would recommend it highly, but as it's really just a bit of Ringo Lam pocket fluff perhaps it's best to save it for the enthusiasts.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 06/16/2006
Summary: good entertainment.

Touch and Go is good, solid film from Ringo Lam starring lovable Sammo Hung Kam-Bo. After he witnesses a cop killing, he is forced to take on the killer and his minions. Action director Yuen Tak keeps everything moving at a fast pace while Sammo sprinkles in the goofy humor. This is good entertainment made in that 1980's style that never gets old.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 03/08/2006
Summary: pretty solid stuff from ringo lam...

sammo hung stars as 'fat goose' a nice guy who sees a policeman getting murdered. sammo unwillingly becomes a witness for the police, but it would seem as if the murderers are being protected and sammo is now their target.

pretty good stuff. solid entertainment and the usual mix of guns, explosions, car chases, fighting and some innane humour. yep, i liked this, sammo does well; i've heard people criticise his acting, but he does a pretty good job of a likable guy, caught up in a nasty situation.

the fights are pretty good, hard hitting and there's a bunch of nasty looking falls; one thing that made me gasp was sammo just being hit by a car. not sure how they did it, it just looked like they crashed a car into him and it looked like it bloody hurt!

good stuff!

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/27/2005

Sammo Hung and Ringo Lam are two of the biggest names in Hong Kong cinema, and most any film they have done is well-known. But this title has flown under the radar of many HK film fans, which is kind of a shame. While it's nothing great, Touch and Go is a solid action movie.

The plot has Sammo as his usual "loveable loser" who sees a gangster known, at least according to the subtitles, as "The God of the Hell" (played by HK heavy mainstay Tommy Wong) killing a cop. At first, Sammo is reluctant to become a witness for the police, but after his home is torched and his friends are threatened, he teams up with a tough cop (Vincent Wan) to take down the bad guys. Along the way, he romances Wan's sister (Teresa Mo) and tries to keep his meddling mother (Helena Law Lan) from driving him nuts.

This is pretty standard HK action movie stuff, but it's a lot lighter in tone than Ringo Lam's usual work, and perhaps that's why more HK film fans haven't heard about it. Frankly, Lam's direction does fall a bit flat in the expository scenes, especially with those involving comedy. But for the most part, Touch and Go moves along at a fast clip and does a good job of keeping its' focus on the main story, instead of wasting a lot of time on the romantic subplot.

More importantly (at least for this reviewer), the action in Touch and Go is solid stuff. It's nothing mind-blowing, but when you have Sammo Hung working with one of the Yuens (in this case Yuen Tak), you're bound to get good results, and the movie doesn't disappoint in this regard. It's the kind of hard-hitting but still acrobatic style that so many newer HK films are lacking in, and should satisfy any action junkie. Of particular note is the finale, where Sammo takes out the villains while having his arm in a sling. One can only hope that HK movies will once again display this amount of style and balls, instead of the by-the-numbers crud they're churning out nowadays.

[review from]

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 08/15/2002
Summary: Pretty good

Touch And Go is not a film that would come to most people’s minds when you say Ringo Lam, and although it’s nothing in comparison to City On Fire or Prison On Fire, it is still the same stylist Ringo Lam type of film.

Acting side of things sees Sammo Hung taking the main lead, which is probably the biggest mistake in the film. Don’t get me wrong, I love Sammo, but his acting abilities have always been limited, and if you look at the better Ringo Lam films you notice the real actors are the in them (Chow Yun Fat, Tony Leung Ka Fei, Danny Lee etc). To make things worst, Teresa Mo is also a main character, who is much like Sammo in the same way. Luckily, the big array of other stars (especially Vincent Wan) keep the film reasonably in the right context. However saying that, the acting is not bad like a lot of HK films and it doesn’t make it anywhere near bad enough for me to not recommend this.

This is an action/drama film, though there are definitely some comic sides to this film which prevent it from being as serious as it should be, luckily it doesn’t quite go down hill enough to become a comedy farce. The stylish camera work and recognisable action sequences are as expected by Ringo, although perhaps not quite as good as many would expect from him. This is after all, probably one of the last really good films Ringo ever made, and by the low amount of reviews it is probably a forgotten classic now and the more recent fans of HK cinema probably never saw it, or will even get the chance now as I’m not aware of this existing in any other format than the original VCD release.

The action scenes are very good, and some very excellent car chase scenes too. This is without a doubt a very good entertaining film.

Overall, I would recommend this film to anyone, but like another reviewer mentioned, just forget for the moment that it is Ringo Lam, because it’s not on his usual level of films (not to say it’s at all bad in any way).


Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: Darryl
Date: 12/21/1999

Something of a letdown from Ringo Lam, but that doesn't mean TOUCH& GO isn't good. If you ignore Lam's name the film plays like a decent comedy, with rough-edged action thrown in to tie the parts together. Samo is quite good here, but not used to his best ability (as a dramatic lead or bruiser). Here he's a gentle nobody who has the goods on maniac Tommy Wong (who's better in the good-guy role rather than in this Roy Cheung Yiu Yeung persona). The police protect him and soon the maniac's ex turns on him, and the cops, Samo and the ex uncover corruption and dodge the maniac, until, a pre FULL CONTACT brutal confrontation occurs. The romantic possibilities between Hung and Mo are tossed half-way through the pic and Lam's approach is workmanlike at best. A curiosity piece, and a movie cheaper than it really was - an inversed Hong Kong "A" picture gone "B."

Reviewer Score: 7