Guard Soldier (HK 2003)

Rating: **
Review Date: 5/30/04
Director: Ng Kwok Hau
Cast: Cynthia Khan, Dick Wei

After watching "Catching Murderer Overseas" (2003) and "Fatal Love Web" (2003), I was expecting zero for three from director Ng Kwok Hau, but thankfully this film isn't a steaming turd like the other two. That's not to say that it's good by any stretch of the imagination, but it's definitely watchable.

Fa Day is an unscrupulous businessman who makes a lot of money by using substandard building materials in his construction projects. When his lead architect discovers this, he decides to go against him, which jeopardizes the lives of him and his family. Inspector Yeung (Cynthia Khan, playing an FBI agent) is on the case, proving once again that the justice system in Hong Kong is broken, and that disputes can only be resolved by an exchange of firepower. Veteran heavy hitter Dick Wei shows up as a hitman, but sadly sees very little in the way of action.

The first thing to note about the film is that it was actually shot on film with decent lighting, so it actually looks pretty good. Unfortunately, like the other two films, the action scenes suffer from the use of plastic Airsoft guns that simply throw sparks (although in the closing credits, it appears that they couldn't even do that very well). Cynthia Khan looks good and actually gets to run around and throw a couple of kicks, which is a nice surprise these days. The villain's leading lady tries her darnedest to look like Shu Qi, so she's nice to watch as well. It could have been a lot worse.