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Bodyguards of the Last Governor
Year: 1996
Director: Alfred Cheung Kin-Ting
Producer: Manfred Wong
Writer: Wong Jing, Alfred Cheung Kin-Ting
Action: Dion Lam Dik-On
Cast: Law Kar-Ying, Eric Kot Man-Fai, Chingmy Yau Suk-Ching, Michael Chow Man-Kin, Law Koon-Lan, Ng Chi-Hung, Alanna Chan, Liz Kong Hei-Man, William Chang (Cheung Suk-Ping), Lee Siu-Kei, Spencer Lam Seung-Yi, Chow Chi-Fai
The Skinny: Occasionally funny satire lampooning the 1997 Handover. While some jokes work, a great deal of the film relies on actual knowledge of 1996/1997-era politics and political players. As such, it might prove too esoteric for most Western HK Cinema fans.
by Kozo:
     Bodyguards of the Last Governor is a topical Hong Kong satire which reimagines the handover as a game of political raspberries by the British and the Chinese. It's also near-inaccessible if you're not familiar with the politics leading up to the handover. I actually got some of the details, but many more threw me for a loop.
     Plot: Eric Kot is a wacky cop assigned to bodyguard HK's last governor Yan Chien-Fai (Law Kar-Ying). Yan is only supposed to hold the office for a month, as he's only there until the Chinese install their Chief Executive at the handover. Worse, Yan was previously a chef in Britain, and his promotion to the highest office in Hong Kong is just a perverse joke by the departing British. He's understandably incompetent and harmless, but the local triads still want him dead to piss off their former British masters. Aiding Kot in his duty is Michael Chow, a no-nonsense G4 agent with hidden levels of wackiness.
      There are laughs interspersed in the picture, but they're separated by some mystifyingly unfunny moments. However, this may be my fault as I can't even pretend to understand everything that went on in the film. What I do know is that the comedy can be annoying and seemingly lame, and boredom requires no translaton. The performers do their jobs, and Law Koon-Lan, Chingmy Yau and Law Kar-Ying manage some funny moments. Overally, I wouldn't recommend this unless you are familiar with all the region's political players. (Kozo 1997)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
English and Chinese Subtitles
image courtesy of Mei Ah Entertainment Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen