Brush Up My Sisters (HK 2003)

Rating: *
Review Date: 1/3/04
Cast: Teresa Mak, Pinky Cheung, Natalie Ng, Jade Leung

Less than five seconds into this shot-on-video atrocity, you realize just how bad it's going to be, with its sloppy camera work, poor lighting, tacky music, and dirty audio. Of all the terrible female cop training films I've seen, this one is by far the worst - even "Deadly China Dolls 2" has more going for it than this travesty. The story follows three girls who all enroll in a police training academy for various reasons. A solemn Lin Mak (Teresa Mak) wants to avenge her sister's brutal murder, Ying-Ying (cute and bubbly Natalie Ng) wants to date a man on the police force, and conniving Kammy (Pinky Cheung) is a tabloid photographer who wants to fabricate a lesbian scandal at the school. The recruits are led by action veteran Jade Leung, who looks like she'd rather be doing anything else.

These kinds of films usually focus on two things - conflict and bonding through harsh physical training, followed by the girls working together to prove their worth by busting up a tough group of criminals. Neither of these things occur in this film. Instead, we are insulted by panty raids, make-up consulting, boob jokes, and general air-headed behavior. The height of drama is when a group of incompetent jewel thieves hide their loot in one of Ying-Ying's stuffed animals and try to get it back. It's even painful to watch in fast forward mode.

As I mentioned before, the production values are downright embarrassing, making me weep for the state of the Hong Kong film industry. The girls are pretty and Pinky Cheung and Natalie Ng ham it up to the best of their ability, but Teresa Mak looks about as miserable as her character is supposed to be. Nearly every scene she's in conveys a sense of "what am I doing in this film?" It makes me sad that both she and Jade are worthy of much better projects.