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Sharp Guns

Ken Cheung (left) and Anya (right) are two of the Sharp Guns.
Year: 2001
Director: Billy Tang Hin-Sing  
Cast: Alex Fong Chung-Sun, Ken Cheung Chi-Hiu, Anya (On Nga), Ken Wong Hap-Hei, Eric Wan Tin-Chiu, Moses Chan Ho, Donny Summer (Ha Siu-Sing), David Lee Wai-Seung, Lok Tak-Wah, Lam Lap-Sam, Po Sai-Yi
The Skinny: Efficient crap that's neither overly inspired or noteworthy, but it gets the job done in an entertaining fashion. This will never be a classic of the genre, but its B-movie charms are quite agreeable.
by Kozo:
     Sharp Guns never aspires to be high art. In fact, it seems to revel in the fact that it's anything but that. Director Billy Tang's cheap, quick and sometimes silly collection of genre characters and situations seems like something you'd see on TNT Nitro.
     Alex Fong stars as Tricky On, a legendary hitman/triad figure who's called in to rescue the kidnapped daughter of an old friend. He enlists three highly skilled professional criminals for this mission. Wood (Ken Cheung) is a slacker marksman who's so good that he can talk, eat, and skeet shoot over his shoulder using mirrors. Rain (Anya) is a sadistic killer who primarily uses knives and dresses in crowd-stopping leather outfits. Kangaroo (David Lee) is the last member, an ace driver who comes aboard via Rain's recommendation. Together these four are the "Sharp Guns", though they actually never call them that in the movie.
     The kidnapped girl is locked in the police station under the watch of an evil cop named Coke (Ken Wong). Tricky On and his gang attempt to tail Coke, but get fingered and brought inside the station. While that would seem to be a setback, it is in fact all part of On's plan. He and his crew expected to be caught, and use that to their advantage in a well-staged police station takedown.
     Practically everything that occurs in the film is expected by On, who's apparently the Hong Kong triad version of The A-Team's Hannibal. As played by Alex Fong, On is an annoyingly smug character who's so ahead of the pack that he could probably predict the Mark Six lottery.
Whether this is plausible or not is besides the point. Billy Tang never pretends that this movie is supposed to take place in the real world. Everything these criminals do is supposed to be insanely ultra-cool. They can kill, shoot, and outwit anybody with their insane skills and thinly-veiled superpowers (Wood apparently has the olfactory sense of Marvel Comics' Daredevil). These guys are the greatest.
     With that in mind, no obstacles can really derail our heroes from their financial reward or need for revenge. Vengeance is an issue because the plot starts going crazy, with double, triple, and quadruple crosses occurring every ten minutes. Not that it affects these guys; On can't predict every one of these twists but he can turn every single one to his advantage. The filmmakers work hard to surprise us, but the plot twists don't really count as surprises. They're more like distractions from a presupposed outcome.
     "Undisciplined" is a word that accurately sums up the acting. Everyone overacts to the point of distraction. Ken Cheung's Wood is overly hyper; think Sam Lee in Gen-X Cops on speed. Ken Wong makes wacky faces and gets ultra-angry as bad cop Coke. Alex Fong's Tricky On is so suave that having him turn to the camera and wink every five minutes would probably not be out of character. Even cool assassin Rain is exaggerated, as the lovely Anya portrays her with an over-the-top aloof sexiness. You can forget subtle in this movie. The filmmakers don't even give us time to reflect, anyway. Sharp Guns is cinematic junk food. It's quick, easy, and almost certainly unhealthy. But it's also pretty tasty. (Kozo 2001)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

images courtesy of Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen