Hot Pants Holiday writer/director Edward Mann may also be held responsible for other films with incredible, multiple titles: The Mutations (1974) aka Dr. of Evil aka The Freakmaker aka The Mutation. Seizure (1974) aka Queen of Evil aka Tango macabre. Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow? (1971) aka Barney. Cauldron of Blood aka Children of Blood aka Death Comes from the Dark aka The Corpse Collectors aka The Shrinking Corpse. Hallucination Generation (1966). Island of Terror (1966) aka Night of the Silicates aka The Creepers aka The Night the Creatures Came aka The Night the Silicates Came.
Fine photography and inventive action sequences, especially the opener, and one with a clever Trojan horse variant. Li's fight scenes are wondrous, as usual, but his part seems too stiffly written for a fluffy, child-oriented action film with much comic relief. Deannie Yip and sensual Chingmy Yau are energetic and funny as the kung-fu mother/daughter scammers.
The English dubbed version, made in 2000, has excellent, witty dialogue and appropriate voices. Prolific Hong Kong writer/director Wong Jing cameos in the closing scene.
Has some unbelievable plot devices that make it hard to take it all seriously, such as the police seemingly breaking into the lovers/killer(s)-on-the-run's motel room early on, and Aussie character actor-par-excellence Barry Otto's role. Frances O'Connor is excellent as the female half of the Murphy game team - reminds me of the wild stage persona of singer/guitarist PJ Harvey.
Has a similar cartoonish desert feel (a la Roadrunner or Krazy Kat) to the Coen Brothers' kidnappers-on-the-lam Raising Arizona. The constant jump cuts in the film's first half distracted me so much, I put the film on the shelf for a year, before finishing it. Glad I did.
The rape investigation and trial are bungled by police and prosecutor, while the rapist's female attorney effectively defends her client (played smarmily by John Fitzpatrick). The rapist is acquitted, so her mother, Mrs. R (played by Cloris Leachman, 2 years after doing Mel Brooks' High Anxiety) sets out to avenge her, though her stepfather (played by Donald Moffat) opposes the plan.
Director George Armitage is a Roger Corman protégé, who effectively emphasizes seediness and corruption beneath the glamorous facade of Miami.
In The Contract Killer, Jet Li supplies the charisma and quick kicks as a lowly trainee hitman going for the big score in tracking down the King of All Hitmen.
Li's character is in tandem with a sly, but bumbling conman, played by the great Hong Kong character actor Eric Tsang (Men Suddenly in Black, Accidental Spy), who excels at menace and comic relief. Tsang gives one of his typical 3D performance a la Bob Hoskins or Sydney Greenstreet.
A rare directorial effort from actor/stuntman Wei Tung, who also directed Magic Cop.