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Cop on a Mission
Year: 2001

Daniel Wu and Suki Kwan

Director: Marco Mak Chi-Sin
Cast: Eric Tsang Chi-Wai, Daniel Wu (Ng Yin-Cho), Suki Kwan Sau-Mei, Anya, David Lee Wai-Seung, Wong Chi-Yeung, Lam Suet, Tony Ho Wah-Chiu, Kwok Fung, Ng Chi-Hung
The Skinny: Competent cop thriller that seems to relish its own B-movie charms. The experience is only slightly above average, though the detours into darkness can prove compelling to some.
by Kozo:
     Daniel Wu goes bad in this cop/triad thriller that entertains in truly B-movie fashion. Wu plays Mike, an undercover cop who became so after being suspended for excessive force. He signs up with triad boss Yum (Eric Tsang with obnoxious fake eyebrows) and works his way up the triad ladder, but his intentions are double duplicitous. Aside from actually being a cop, Mike has his eyes on Yum's moll Pauline (Suki Kwan). She returns his lustful gaze, as Mike is incredibly hot and has great abs. And besides, Yum is currently impotent (ever since an assassination attempt) and also has weird eyebrows and the physique of a barrel.
     Marco Mak directed this exercise in B-movie excess, which is competent and consistently interesting, if not entirely noteworthy. The script (by the ever-famous Not a Woman) is a collection of standard clichés and situations, with the added bonus of the protagonist being a truly heinous bastard. Mike's use of excessive force is actually a precursor of things to come, as it seems that he gets off on power and violence, and isn't just content with toadying to either cops or criminals. Furthermore, his ultimate comeuppance is obvious from frame one. The film is told in flashback, with the framing device of Mike being buried alive in an open grave. He's obviously meant to get his, and the journey is supposed to be enough to keep us involved.
     Surprisingly enough, staying involved isn't much of a chore. The film moves along at a good pace, and the perfomances are enjoyable. Suki Kwan and Eric Tsang turn in decent performances, and Lam Suet and Tony Ho anchor the supporting roles. Daniel Wu has a tougher job than the others since his character is the central one. Mike's journey from do-gooder to scum-of-the-earth isn't developed in the most compelling fashion, and Wu doesn't too much to help that. At least his willingness to play darker characters is commendable, and he does enough with the part to make it work. No one would ever confuse Cop on a Mission with a really good film noir, but it's got enough dark stuff to make it a better than the average HK crime flick. (Kozo 2001)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
image courtesy of Deltamac Co., Ltd. Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen