Saturday, 8 September 2007

Beast Cops (1998)

English title: Beast Cops.

Our dynamic HK cops duo aren't too different from the Odd Couple (1968) played by Jack Lemmon and Walter Maltthau that later turned into a TV series (Randall & Klugman). I'm not surprise if the script writer was in fact inspired by them. Michael Cheung (Michael Wong) is the strait-laced, anal, no-nonsense, cleanly shaved, disciplined cop who believes that there's only a thin line divides the good and evil, between cops and robbers. And he's partnered with Tung (Anthony Wong). You've guessed it, Tung is the sloppy, undisciplined, unshaven cop, who's also a junkie and gambler and operates inside a large patch of grey area that bounded by the police and the gangster codes.

Well, if you're familiar with the Hollywood's Odd Couple, you know this arrangement would drive them crazy and the situations would supply us with lots of comic relief. Indeed, there is plenty. And quite funny too.

Anyone expects this to be a Ringo Lam or John Woo's type of shoot-em-up flick with plenty of ballet/martial graceful movement with their gun play would disappoint. In fact, Tung insists on putting their guns into the glove compartment when they visit the gangster's joint because Tung doesn't want to clean up the streets. He wants the streets remain as messy as his house, and his lifestyle.  As long as streets are quiet, he doesn't mind the mess. That's his method.
 
Beast Cops (1998)
Not that there's no action, there's some sporadic actions until the last 5 mins when Tung goes ballistics, sped up on a cocktail of mind altering drugs and booze. They turn out to be Best Cops, not Beast Cops.
 
It's an enjoyable crime flicks (if you don't expect non-stop heart-pounding action) with a nice balanced blend of comedy, romance, action, drama, heroic bloodshed, and character development. This is what cop soap opera genre supposed to look like, not unlike Tango & Cash (1989). And the HK's forerunner Curry & Pepper (1990) of this film, which fits the bill for this genre even better. They're crime flicks made for chicks. However, Beast Cops is the most blokey of them 3. And it transcends all these because it tries to challenge the judgement of what's black and white.


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