comedian Stephen Chow plays the Handsome Tricky Expert Koo,
a professional trickster who'll play tricks for a fee. He's
hired by the scummy Macky (Waise Lee), who wants to oust rival Chi Man-Kit (Andy
Lau) from the workplace. Koo takes the job, and pretends to
be the long-lost son of Lau's father (Ng Man-Tat). Somehow the
scam works and Koo is brought into their home and family.
Tons of bizarre schtick follows, which leads
to the obvious question: Will Koo go through with the plan
to take down the good guys? Or will he act on the behalf of
jerky yuppies like Macky?
Wackiness exists from frame one of
this obvious Wong Jing product, which is largely a series of
parodies, sudden musical numbers and simply bizarre behavior
that would never be tolerated in any form of reality. It's
also great fun, as it gives Stephen Chow the chance to once
again prove his superiority over friends and foes alike.
His actions may break his surrogate family, but he can also
bring them back from the brink of disaster. His actions can
also net him the attentions of the comely Banana (Chingmy Yau), and save
Kit's relationship with Lucy (Rosamund Kwan). Boy, Stephen Chow is
just all powerful in these movies, isn't he?
Wong Jing wrings the best from
his cast and manages to throw in some truly funny stuff. It's
all rather pointless and sophomoric, and some jokes are in
extremely bad taste. Still, Stephen Chow is a wonderful comedian,
and his pairing with Lau is a good one. While not a fantastic
actor, Andy Lau is at least a game performer willing to subject
himself to all forms of embarrassment in the name of entertainment.
Tricky Brains adds credence to the idea that Wong Jing's
films succeed or fail according to his performers. His taste
is questionable, and his rip-offs shameless (he steals some
gags from the Police Academy movies), but he can make
fun populist entertainment on occasion. This happens
to be one of those occasions. (Kozo 1996/1998)