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The King of Debt Collecting Agent
Year: 1999
Director: Ivan Lai Kai-Ming
Cast: Nick Cheung Ka-Fai, Francis Ng Chun-Yu, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Sam Lee Chan-Sam, Turbo, Gabriel Harrison (Hoi Chun-Kit), Tina Lee Hiu-Tung, Law Koon-Lan, Austin Wai Tin-Chi, Yip Or-Fan, Peter Lai Bei-Tak, Lau Shek-Yin
The Skinny: Some creativity highlights this otherwise routine and unnecessary triad picture. Nick Cheung, while carrying the picture sufficiently, cannot save this movie.
by Kozo:
     Surprisingly inventive triad picture brings us Nick Cheung in his first big starring role. He’s a righteous triad who uses his brains to create the best damn debt collecting triad in HK. Formerly a peon of wacky triad boss Francis Ng, he joins forces with big triad guy Austin Wai and leaves Francis behind. Helping him are his mother (Law Koon-Lan in the film’s best performance) and fellow triad Sam Lee. Romantic tension is supplied by a comely club girl (Tina Lee) who’s won over by Cheung’s abilities.
     What’s inventive about the film is how Cheung uses his noggin to get ahead. The first half plays like a comedy as he and his buddies fool various triad types into paying off their debts - making them quite popular with the creditors. The guys who pay up aren’t so happy, so they join together to bring Cheung down - which is where the film derails. Once Cheung is framed for offending legendary mob boss Anthony Wong, the film devolves into standard genre clichés that result in your usual action ending.
     Director Ivan Lai doesn’t possess the style or verve needed to pull off the film, but Nick Cheung has a decent showing. Sadly, most of the supporting actors are just awful. Tina Lee is terrible and the various triad extras need major acting lessons. Even Sam Lee and Francis Ng don’t provide their usual spark. In HK’s film doldrums, this is a passably entertaining film, but it covers no new ground - which is something the HK film industry desperately needs to do before its too late. (Kozo 1999)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Universe Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
image courtesy of The Hong Kong Movie Database
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