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冇面俾 (1995)
Don't Give a Damn

Reviewed by: Masterofoneinchpunch
Date: 12/08/2015
Summary: Why are you eating those flowers?

“I would like to fart on her face!” “I will give her a fart with noise.” “I will make a noisy and stink one.” – Hung’s sagacious speech on a woman he likes.

After immigrating for a year to the US because of debts and not as successful films, Sammo Hung was back to make this comedy and action film, partially for a favor to two of his sons who have small roles in this. It has been written on several film sites that Jackie Chan was going to star in this but could not do it because of scheduling conflicts with the making of Rumble in the Bronx, but I am thinking this was just wishful thinking from fans and/or Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao. Chan’s rise was preeminent while the other two had seen better times. I do not think Chan would have put any serious thought into actually starring in this. Please correct me with a primary source if I am wrong.

I had read several reviews on this film and everyone pointed to a repugnant scene involving blackface* and stereotypes. Most of the time when I go into a film knowing of the offending scene I often think it is not as bad as the offended write about. However, once in a while like with this film it is worse than my imagination thought like with D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation when it dealt with the Reconstruction after the end of the Civil War. It has one of the most offensive subtitles I have seen in Hong Kong cinema and the blackface used is also among the worst offenders akin to Ed Wood’s Jailbait which was previously the most racist I had seen. Sammo Hung had used blackface in Enter the Fat Dragon but that was innocuous compared to here. It has been stated by Hung that he was obligated to use that scene because of investors, but with his past use I do wonder how true that is. It is ironic that Robert Samuels (Bobby, one of the main hired bad guys) would become the first African American inducted in the Hong Kong Stuntman’s Association because of this film. He hurt his ankle pretty bad from a jump during the finale. Samuels, who had a good friendship with Hung as well as lived with him for a period of time, sided with Hung on this and ultimately, except for the blackface scenes, thinks highly of this movie. He was not amused when he first saw this film. Rewatching the ending I do not think Samuels ever saw the offending scenes. His conversation with Sammo and Yuen Biao in blackface seem to be done at different times.

There are a couple of other large issues with the film. First it is highly misogynistic. This is a little harder for Hung to ignore because you can see the misogynism from his first-released film The Iron-Fisted Monk and on. Some of the atrocious things Hung’s character states in the film I do not think his love interest would have forgiven him for nor for him drunk-sleeping with someone else. Also I am not sure why Hung’s character would have an anti-Japanese speech while beating up a defendant, especially to the real-life half-Japanese actor Kaneshiro Takeshi in another head-in-palm scene.

Second, this is also a comedic action film with not enough action. Hung also makes a strange mistake in making his action scenes sometimes resemble the ones in Ashes of Time where Hung was the action choreography, by step-printing them making them more incomprehensible to the eye. When you have excellent martial artists on display I am not sure why you would do that. Why, of all things, take that influence from Wong Kar-wai (a director I do like, just not for his action scenes in that film)?

The movie starts off well enough with a funny scene involving two different Pierre Lau (Sammo Hung) and Rambo Wong Yuk-man (Yuen Biao) as two officers, both undercover, are thinking they are going to arrest the other. Blacky Ko is the “stupid” robber who is about to rob a busload full of cops with guns with his own knife. Then things get a little sticky when Yuen Biao’s character kicks a chair out under a prostitute. It was not funny nor was it really deserved. Often the scenes with women have that hostility toward them. I do wonder how much his divorce in the year before was a catalyst to this. It is too bad because there are funny scenes throughout the movie like the Superman/Spiderman cop/robber scenes. Enter Inspector Tang Chuen Shek (Kaneshiro Takeshi) who is assigned Pierre Lau. Anyways they are successful in retrieving a large amount of drugs from a Japanese dealer (Kelvin Wong Siu). Of course that dealer wants those drugs back. Meanwhile those men are also looking for love in all the wrong places with a very funny highlight of Yuen Biao munching on roses.

There are a few good gags and some decent fighting. Just not enough of them. The racism and sexism do make you forget that there is not much of a plot here. However, this will probably remain the low-point in Sammo Hung’s career. It is almost like he does not give a damn. But to be fair most likely he did not have carte blanch in his direction. For those who have not seen this I imagine the locker room fight scene between Biao and Hung is the scene of most interest though it too is marred by an incredibly stupid Hung pulling a gun. This film actually gets worse the more you see it with the exception of the last couple of sequences. The fighting between Bobby Samuels, Sammo Hung and eventually Collin Chou is pretty good and so is the Yuen Biao vs. Habby Heske and Roy Filler. Surprisingly I like the very ending. It is like a more playful Taste of Cherry (1997: I am sure Abbas Kiarostami is a closet Hung fan, do not quote me on this). So I highly recommend this to people who are trying to complete Sammo Hung’s Filmography. He has so many good films in his oeuvre and luckily Pedicab Driver just came out on DVD (Warner Brothers MOD). Watch or rewatch that or Knockabout instead.
I have a Mandarin only copy of this from Thundermedia. It has burnt in Chinese and English subtitles, but it is widescreen. The quality is decent and certainly better than the Videoasia’s Burger Cop release which plays both the Mandarin and Cantonese tracks at the same time (obviously ported from a VCD.) There are no extras.

* A book could be written on the use of blackface in pre-Hollywood and Hollywood films. While it is rightfully considered at best passé and racist at its worst you can see interesting use in modern day examples like Sidney Poitier’s use in Stir Crazy (1980) or one of my favorite comedies in Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder (2008).

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: leepifer
Date: 08/19/2007
Summary: If possible, I would fart on her face. (Hung philosophy)

Agree too with Inner Strength but i like it as Sydneyguy...
This film is one of the most chaotic, vulgar and with no senses at all that Sammo has done! Edition is crappy and everything seem to have been made in a one time shot.Not the time nor money to make a serious production value.
And they surely were in a hurry to finish it(as you can check in the end as Kaneshiro is not even on the set!)(however,he tries hard not to be impressed by Sammo and he is good in action but Sammo'joke doesn't fit him).
Because there are so much defaults, it shows how Sammo is an incredibly film-maker.Not even need to think to make a watchable movie, Sammo'style is in automatic gear!And Yuen Biao completes the roles, showing more than never that he is the perfect accomplice of Sammo in such a cinematographic crime!
The brothers just enjoy to be together in a production where they can do whatever they want, nobody'll tell anything because they are the bosses!

And i like it very much! Yes i like the anarchist ambient of this film, i'm amazed by the doubtful and farty jokes that Sammo dares!(That's not mean i'm agree with, please i'm just a nice guy;-) And i like the action too.Not very elaborated but efficient because you just have two action'gods who got a place to play.Yes, they just play to destroy the correct codes of cinema to make their own little crazy show.
Sammo's character, Pierre Lau, is as ridiculous as in "Wheels on Meals" when he played "inspector" Moby, especially his hilarious hair!

All in all, watch it while you don't giving a damn ! ;-))

(It could have been the 3 brothers reunion but Jackie was too busy and maybe Sammo and Biao decided to make the film with Kaneshiro who was passing by, but he couldn't give the change.Without Jackie Chan, the production had not enough money to make a big action film so we can understand why the product had been smashed.)

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: cal42
Date: 04/30/2006
Summary: The end of the end...

Sammo's popularity had taken a nosedive in the 90's, thanks in no small part to his bafflingly antiquated attitudes (see Pantyhose Hero - or rather, don't...take my word for it, it's terrible). There was his divorce as well, but we'll gloss over that...

However, this film reaches a new high (or low) of just inexcusable ignorance. This time instead of the gay community, it's the black community and women that seem to take the brunt of Sammo's "humour".

An example of dialogue between two characters taken from memory (so it may be a little wrong - I haven't seen the film in six years or so):
"What are Negroes best at?"
(Thinks)"I know! Running!"
"Wrong! Raping!"

In another scene, a woman gets a vicious kick to the crotch for no real reason. Truly shocking stuff.

The only scene worthy of note is the locker-room fight between Sammo and Yuen Biao. If you've got that scene on a compilation tape somewhere and are tempted to get the film on the basis of that, don't bother. There's nothing else of interest in this crap-fest.

Reviewer Score: 2

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 05/15/2002
Summary: What Inner STrength said

I feel like inner strength but i did like it more than he did. There was a few good laughs in the movie and the action was ok. TAkeshi was wasted in this. A ok movie.


Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/12/2002

The name of this movie must be how Sammo Hung & Yuen Biao thought at the time.

Rating (out of 5): 1.5

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

Reviewed by: Ash
Date: 02/04/2001
Summary: Not Sammo's best!

It is an action movie but it lacks action! There is a few action sequences throughout the film, but Sammo and (his long time friend) Yuen Biao, do not have the time to impress us with their skills until the end of the movie, and at this moment, it's too late! But this fight is still worth watching!
Good for rent on a lazy Sunday. 7,5/10

Reviewed by: jfierro
Date: 12/21/1999

Disappointing movie with Samo Hung and Yuen Biao engaging in a lotof meaningless slapstick around a police station. An attempt at a plot is thrown during the last twenty minutes of the film at least providing some interesting fights. However, it also produces one of the more offensive scenes regarding African-Americans I have seen. Even the Chinatown audience I saw it with was groaning.

Reviewed by: redbean
Date: 12/09/1999

Entertaining...I found myself laughing out loud (which I don't do in the movies very often), but it's not one of Samo Hung's more engaging efforts.

Reviewed by: kjohnson
Date: 12/09/1999

An enjoyable comedy until the last third when the action kicked in--then I was bored.

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Slightly satisfying actionner starring Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao (together again after several years). The film also stars the underrated Takeshi Kanashito who plays a cop a-la Mel Gibson (ref: "LETHAL WEAPON"). This film is no classic but it looks like one when put side to side with most of the HK's action films made in 1995.

[Reviewed by Martin Sauvageau]