image courtesy of HK Flix



AKA: It's a Drink! It's a Bomb!

Year of release: 1985

Company: D&B

Genre: action comedy

Running time: 95 mins.

Director: David Chung

Script: Tsang Kan Cheong

Action director: Blackie Ko

Producers: Dickson Poon, Sammo Hung

Cinematography: David Chung

Editor: Ng Kam Wah

Music: Lowell Lo

Stars: George Lam, John Shum, Maggie Cheung, Elvis Tsui, Eddy Ko Hung, Blackie Ko, Wu Ma, Melvin Wong

Rated I for comic violence and mild profanity

Related links:

DVD Review
Maggie Cheung biography
Elvis Tsui biography
Sammo Hung biography
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It's a Drink, It's a Bomb

It's a Drink

Maggie Cheung. Image courtesy of Universe.

Before Stephen Chow broke through with his "moy len tau" (nonsense) style of comedy, most Hong Kong comedies were fairly sedate. There were, of course, exceptions, such as Jackie Chan's increasingly manic kung fu works and the Hui brothers' fast-talking Cantonese-dependent films, but for the most part, comedic pictures in Hong Kong were about as threatening as an episode of Full House. It's a Drink, It's a Bomb fits into this mold -- it's as fluffy as a marshmellow -- but thankfully not quite as sickly-sweet as the Olsen Twins.

The story has three strangers (tomboy Maggie Cheng, cabbie John Shum and scientist George Lam) coming together after a strange series of events has them being chased by a couple of Japanese bad guys played by Eddy Ko Hung and Elvis Tsui. Tsui, now known as the "crazy bald guy" from a number of Category III films, is almost unrecognizable with a slicked-back hairdo and lipliner -- gotta love those 80's fashions! I must say one of the pleasures of watching these older movies is seeing actors who were just starting to find their bearings in the Hong Kong movie industry, often with much different results than their career path would later take them.

At any rate, the Japanese think the trio are holding a can of soda that is actually a powerful explosive. However, Maggie and company do not have it -- in fact, they have no idea what exactly the Japanese want -- so when they go to the police for help, they are turned away as being crazy. Eventually, the trio piece the puzzle together and, with some stumbling and fumbling along the way, manage to save the day.

It's a Drink

Elvis Tsui (left) and Eddy Ko Hung. Image courtesy of Universe.

Plotwise, It's a Drink, It's a Bomb doesn't really make much sense. It seemed strange to me that the Japanese would go through so much trouble to get an explosive, that when detonated, seems to be only as powerful as a grenade. Why not just kill the trio? I guess that would result in a pretty short movie, though. And even though it's a given that the cops portrayed in these kinds of movies are thick-headed, the ones in here (mostly Melvin Wong) are so dimwitted, it makes you wonder how they can find their keys, much less enforce the law. However, things move along fast enough that the viewer can forgive its' shortcomings -- to a point.

The point of breaking in It's a Drink, It's a Bomb is John Shum's performance. I have never been a fan of his work; he always seems to be trying to hard to be funny with his annoying "manic nebbish" personality. Shum sticks out like a sore thumb here in contrast to George Lam and Maggie Cheung's more relaxed work. Shum really grinds down the movie in parts, and frankly, if it wasn't for Maggie Cheung, I would have switched off the movie halfway through.

Cheung at this early point in her career wasn't known as a great actress, but she sure displayed a lot of charm, which she puts out in spades here. She is just so cute in It's a Drink, It's a Bomb that it's hard to stay mad at the movie for long. While it's nothing great, It's a Drink, It's a Bomb makes a nice change of pace from toilet jokes and ultra-violence, and deserves a viewing if you're a fan of Maggie Cheung.

It's a Drink

George Lam, Maggie Cheung and John Shum (from left to right). Image courtesy of Universe.