Pom Pom and Hot Hot
AKA: Hot Hot and Pom Pom
Director: Joe Cheung
Stars: Jacky Cheung, Stephen Tung, Loletta Lee, Alfred Cheung, Austin Wai, Lam Ching-Ying, Bonnie Fu
A pair of bumbling cops (Jacky Cheung and Stephen Tung) are on the trail of a gun runner, but keep turning into their own worst enemies with their overzealousness, which eventually costs them their jobs, and has their boss (Lam Ching-Ying) demoted to a desk job. However, with the aid of Jacky's cousins (Loletta Lee and Alfred Cheung) and a wily mamasan (Bonnie Fu), the cops manage to close in on the bad guys.
Even though this movie is lauded for its' shootout at the end, for most of the running time it is closer in tone to a romantic comedy rather than a John Woo-style squibfest. Though I didn't find the first bit hilarious or touching, it was enjoyable in a fluffy (weightless) kind of way. The actors do a good job with what they have to work with and manage to create some likeable characters. I especially dug Lam Ching-Ying; he steals the show as the tough captain, especially during one sequence where he acrobatically re-enacts how a killer (Austin Wai) completed his job.
Getting back to the climatic shootout, it's really quite good. Stephen Tung was one of the action directors on A Better Tomorrow, and Woo's influence clearly shows, but the sequences knows enough to tread that fine line between homage and ripoff. There are some definite "Woo-isms" (characters firing at each other through holes in walls, along with the reqisite slow motion and dynamic camera angles) but there are also some refreshingly original gags, such as one part where Stephen and Jacky, low on ammo, must toss a gun back and forth to each other.
I would almost say the finale is too good -- it shows what this movie might have been like if the film-makers decided to concentrate on the pyrotechnics rather than romantic fluff. Still, Pom Pom and Hot Hot is a pretty enjoyable movie, but if you're a die-hard action junkie, you just might want to skip the first hour and head straight to the goods.
Note: this movie has no relation to the previous Pom Pom films directed by Joe Cheung. And, no, I don't have any idea what the title means either.
A review of the DVD for this movie can be found here
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