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(Cantonese with English subtitles) Classic, slapstick, all-out-ridiculous Hong Kong action-comedy delivered by the one-and-only Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle, Shaolin Soccer), who plays a SWAT team leader going undercover at a high school to retrieve a stolen gun for his captain.Written by
One of the best Stephen Chow movies. Although it lacks the polish and CGI of his latest efforts, "Shaolin Soccer" and "Kung Fu Hustle," this movie is still hugely entertaining and essential viewing, especially if you like Chow's special brand of "moleitau" (nonsense humor).
Chow plays Star Chow, a cop who goes undercover as a student in order to find a missing gun. He is understandably annoyed, shouting at his senior, "I wanted to be a cop so I didn't have to go to school anymore!" He gets to display a huge range of hilarious, ticked-off expressions. Plot is thin, but who cares: after all, this movie is just a stage for Chow to show off his impeccable comic timing, slapstick, and nonsense humor. The familiar supporting cast is also strong.
Chow has to deal with a myriad of things as an undercover at school: professors that throw chalkboard erasers at him, student gangs and cliques, homework, tests, girls, etc. This is great comic material and Chow rises to the occasion admirably. There's a hilarious scene where he cheats on his Chinese history test by calling up the police station and asking the chief to give him the answers. Other hilarious scenes include him failing to turn in his homework and being subject to public humiliation, fitting in with his classmates, dealing with an absent-minded science professor, and developing a crush on one of his teachers.
Compared the "Kung Fu Hustle" and "Shaolin Soccer," this movie is less accessible to Western audiences because of the abundance of verbal comedy. It is still a very funny movie with tons of slapstick, but it's even funnier if you understand Cantonese because a lot of the comedy comes from Cantonese slang and Chow's intonation. However, I've shown this movie to friends who don't understand Cantonese at all and they have all loved it.
Bottom line: One of Chow's best. This movie is a good example of why audiences love Chow and why he was one of the biggest HK box-office draws in the 90s (he still is a big box office draw). He oozes winning charisma and charm. Laugh-out-loud funny. Highly recommended.
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