Catching Murderer Overseas (HK 2003)

Rating: *
Review Date: 5/29/04
Director: Ng Kwok Hau
Cast: Cynthia Khan, Siu Fung

I love you Cynthia, but it breaks my heart to see you in junk like this. Cynthia Khan plays Ying, a feisty police officer who's after a notorious criminal. When her partner gets killed, she doubles her efforts to catch the nasty guy. Unfortunately, he escapes overseas, but that doesn't deter our heroes for long. Ying and her new partner (Siu Fung) eventually capture the bad guy, who just laughs and says "ha, ha, you got me!" (or at least that's what I'm guessing he says, since the film isn't subtitled)

The amazingly bad production values make me wonder if this is what state of the art B-movie making is like in China these days. It's shot on silent video under awful lighting conditions, and looks like something I would have shot in high school. The dubbing is terrible, there's no ambient sound, and the only sound effects are footsteps, gunshots, and explosions. There's also the occasional porno jazz soundtrack that kicks in during the action sequences. The action scenes are pathetic and often edited at half speed to make them stretch out a bit. The actors use plastic guns with no recoil, and generally just push them towards their targets, who quietly fall down. The directory of photography comes from the "Batman" school of cinematography, and about every other shot is skewed at some bizarre angle. An amateurish effort in every respect.

Fortunately, Cynthia Khan looks awesome, and it's always a treat to see her tough chick posturing and restrained intensity. She looks like a powderkeg ready to explode at any moment, but sadly, the action scenes don't allow her to do much of anything. Embarrassingly enough, she actually dispatches one of her opponents with a well placed banana peel. Oh, the pain... Another amusing aspect of the film is that the criminals are counterfeiters, but they're counterfeiting American one dollar bills. This is pretty much a perfect reflection of the film's budget and mentality.