The suddenly bankable Miriam Yeung stars in Love
Undercover, her third film with director Joe Ma
and her second based on an older Hong Kong film. Yeung
is Kuen, a rookie cop who flunked every single important
test as a cadet. However, Hong Kong needs cops so she
graduates anyway. Sentenced to the Lost Property Department,
Kuen can only gossip with her co-workers and lust after
hunk cop Hung (Raymond Wong Ho-Yin).
However, Kuen gets her chance
pretty quick. The Serious Crime Unit picks her for minor
undercover work because she has no family, boyfriend
or dog, and wouldn't be missed if the target decides
to off her. She's assigned to bug suspected triad guy
Hoi (Daniel Wu), but thanks to nutty situation comedy
circumstances she ends up catching his eye. Hoi decides
to pursue Kuen, and the Serious Crime Unit couldn't
be happier. Led by Officer Chung (Hui Siu-Hung) and
previously-mentioned hunk Hung, the cops go about setting
up an elaborate cover for Kuen. They plan to keep her
close to Hoi in hopes of discovering his evil plans.
That is, if he even has any.
Why anyone would suspect Hoi is beyond me, because he's
played by Daniel Wu as an affable, decent fellow who
only happened to be born into a [retired] triad family.
It's hard to believe the Serious Crime Unit would waste
lots of money to investigate Hoi, much less use a rookie
cop to handle serious undercover work. Kuen shouldn't
even be a cop; she's petulant, whiny, and generally
unpredictable and silly.
Kuen's personality shouldn't
be a surprise, however, as it's the exact same character
Miriam Yeung has played in her last three pictures.
That said, she does it extremely well so we should all
clap happily. Most of the film's unsubtle joys come
from Yeung's deadpan, nonsensical ways of dealing with
whatever problems arise. In reality, her character would
probably be expelled from the force and cited for obstruction
of justice, but it's hard not to like Yeung's nutty
antics. Yeung is still a remarkably raw actress, but
she's a charming performer and a more-than-competent
The film itself doesn't do
anything new. Kuen eventually starts to fall for Hoi,
but must decide whether she can continue to lie to him.
Meanwhile, the cops aren't so sure she's the right choice
anymore because of that pesky conflict of interest thing.
These are your standard cop-goes-undercover clichés,
but this movie shouldn't be seen for it's witty, creative
narrative or white-knuckle thrills (of which it has
none). This is simply an amiable little trifle that
amuses without insulting, which is a welcome cinematic
feat nowadays. Joe Ma's films have varied in quality,
but Love Undercover manages to be better than
his previous two comedies (Fighting for Love and Dummy Mommy without a Baby).
The supporting cast is
uniformly amusing, with Ma regulars Wyman Wong and Joe
Lee providing especially funny turns. The suddenly-everywhere
Daniel Wu hasn't really proven himself as a comic talent,
but he's a good straight man with a likable screen presence.
Still, Love Undercover is primarily a showcase
for Miriam Yeung. While not as good an overall actress
as Gigi Leung or Cecilia Cheung, she's arguably a better
comedy lead than either.
Yeung's movies have been surprisingly
successful too, which is something that can only be
applauded. Hong Kong movies need to make money or this
website will no longer have anything to talk about.
If Miriam Yeung can bring box office success (and can
avoid working with Wong Jing), then I heartily endorse
her efforts. (Kozo 2002)