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Sunday, 20 May 2018

Retro Review: Pom Pom (1984) #hongkongcinema

Pom Pom (aka Sun yung seung heung aau)
1984
Cast: Richard Ng, John Shum, Deanne Yip, Philip Chan, Dick Wei
Genre: Action Comedy
Hong Kong Box Office Gross: over $20 million

Plot: Two Hong Kong police detectives go through misadventures to protect a young girl from a ruthless crime lord






'No-Brainer Buddy Cop Comedy'

A Hong Kong Buddy cop comedy produced by Sammo Hung, the film also features a cameo by Jackie Chan as a motorcycle cop. If you have seen any of the Lucky Stars films, you might be interested the humour in his film is pretty much along the same lines.  

Two members of the Lucky Stars action comedy movies, which starred Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung in John Shum and Richard Ng starred in a spin-off series, beginning with this 1984 effort. It also sports a similar tone and style of comedy to those movies.

Curly and Beethoven are two bumbling/so-called idiot cops who are known to be running their mouths a lot often & playing pranks on each other & other people, rather than running and going after the criminals and capturing them. En route to an enquiry, they discover a dead body, who just so happens to be the girlfriend of a drug lord. Curly and Beethoven have to stop Sha - even though he has a clean slate and has no record of criminal dealings at all. 

The film is sort of similar-ish to Aces Go Places with Samuel Hui and Karl Maka as a crime-based comedy, only compared to that flick, the comedy here is sort of wishy-washy, it tends to be more humour-driven and less narrative-driven and the story drifts in so many directions. Also, most of the dialogue is so jumbled, it's difficult keeping track of what has been said and how it relates to what the other person has said. And as neither Curly or Beethoven are the martial arts types, the film opts for and relies on their wit, so-called charm, as well as cunningness & buffoonery to help them get out of trouble. Although on occasions they do screw things up, whilst one of them has a crush on a fellow female officer. Whilst the Lucky stars movies contained plenty of action, Pom Pom is more comedy action with the action being sparse, as opposed to being an action comedy. There are gags, silly slapstick scenes that verge on the side of a British Carry on film and scenes that are very much similar to those in TV comedy sketch shows. The fight scene with Dick Wei, John Shum and Richard Ng was okay, but nothing that amazing to shout about. Yet I laughed when Shum's cop character took out a gun that he hid in his sofa, aimed it underneath a baddie's balls & blew his balls off! Richard Ng, who has been dubbed the Sammy Davis Jr of Hong Kong cinema, due to his almost uncanny resemblance to the U.S singer, gets to kung fu kick the villains towards the end.

The plot and the story, however, are just not very good and the film is too wordy in the dialogue sense.





Final Verdict:

This is a silly, low-brow type of comedy from Hong Kong that whilst it is amusing in places, the characters never really clicked with me. Compared to the original Aces Go Places, the good guy characters are nice at times, but they lack the charisma and chemistry as seen with Sam Hui, Karl Maka & Sylvia Chang & despite the similarities, Pom Pom is not as flowing and fun as My Lucky Stars.

All in all, if you are into a buddy cop comedy whereby there is more emphasis on slapstick and comedy and less so on action, this one is it. If not, this is not for you.


Overall:

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