Spiritually A Cop (HK 1991)

Rating: **
Review Date: 5/6/19
Cast: Stanley Fung, Lui Fong, Yukari Oshima, Mung Hoi, cameos by Elaine Lui, Wai Man Chan, Cheung Wah, Wang Lung, Eddy Ko

A bitter Lui Fong is too short to join the police force, so he becomes a vigilante crime fighter instead. The police are stumped by this so-called "Mystery Cop," until one day he's killed by a trio of transvestites during a jewelry heist. Refusing to accept that he died by a woman's hand, his ghost evades Hell's agents and attempts to get police chief Stanley Fung to avenge his death. However, Fung is a timid and useless guy, and much to Lui's eternal annoyance, police inspector Yukari Oshima sets out to avenge him instead. Lots of silly shenanigans go down as Lui tries to humiliate her with the help of a young monk played by Mung Hoi. Things finally get serious towards the end when Oshima takes a huge risk to bust the jewel thieves and ends up in a huge gang fight.

The film looks good and the action scenes are very satisfying, but the story is weak and the humor is deplorably sexist and misogynistic. Lui Fong absolutely HATES women, and his only motivation is to shame and degrade them, which gets old really quick. He's utterly detestable, which makes it impossible to sympathize with him or the plot. Yukari Oshima looks fantastic and performs some excellent high-kicking fight scenes. Her climactic showdown with Elaine Lui comes as a welcome surprise, and the two of them are delightful to watch (except for the poor lighting). Wang Lung provides another welcome surprise at the beginning of the film when he and Cheung Wah (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Philip Ko) get into an excellent fight at a restaurant. It's a potent reminder of how Hong Kong action used to be, and what made me fall in love with the genre in the first place. It's just a shame that the offensive humor and tiresome ghost gags end up spoiling the final product.