Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Undercover Punch & Gun

Are there any international waters in the South China Sea that China does not illegally claim dominion over? Apparently, Ha, an international pirate-mercenary, has found a remote quadrant of ocean that he has operated out with impunity, at least so far. However, an undercover Hong Kong cop and two maverick agents of a maritime law enforcement agency intend to take him down in Lui Koon Nam & Frankie Tam’s Undercover Punch & Gun (a.k.a. Undercover vs. Undercover), which releases today on DVD and BluRay.

Brother Bao, the drug-addled boss of a meth gang suspects the cops have infiltrated his operation, but he does not suspect Det. King Wu, because he has been dating his daughter Dawnie for quite some time. Unfortunately, it will not matter for long, because the gang is about to get caught in a crossfire, between Ha’s thugs and rogue Trident agents Eva and Magnum.

When Wu inherits Bao’s gang, Ha offers him a deal, in exchange for Bao’s mystery meth cooker. Unfortunately, things really get messy when Wu and his goofy sidekick Tiger try to corral her. They will just have to bluff their way through, even when then find themselves stranded on Ha’s cargo ship, in the middle of the high seas.

The editing throughout
Undercover P&G is slapdash, herky-jerky, and at times dashed confusing, even by the standards of slam-bang action movies. It definitely feels like it was pieced together from mismatched scraps found on the editing room floor. On the plus side, there are some satisfyingly cinematic fight sequences coordinated by star Philip Ng & Chu Cho-kuen. Ng and Andy On also show off plenty of physicality as King and his chief antagonist, Ha, respectively. However, the goofy schtick of Van Ness Wu, playing Tiger, gets to be like fingernails on a blackboard.

Joyce Feng Wenjuan has pretty respectable chops as Eva too, but her backstory rather muddled. Of course, it is great fun too see Lam Suet chewing the scenery as Brother Bao and Meng Jia is surprisingly cold-blooded and sociopathic as the henchperson, “The Phantom.” Still, a little bit of Wu’s Tiger goes a long, long way.

As the title suggests, there is enough kicking and shooting in
Undercover P&G to satisfy HK action fans minimum threshold of entertainment. Yet, Tiger’s wacky comedy is often tonally at odds with the brutality of Ha and the Phantom’s villainy. This film definitely has a body-count, including a number of innocents.

It is also the sort of film martial arts connoisseurs will want to watch with one finger on the fast-forward button. There are considerable highlights, but it is really messy. Earning a highly mixed review,
Undercover Punch & Gun releases today (6/8) on DVD and BluRay, from Well Go USA.