From Beijing with Love- -
After a giant dinosaur skull is stolen, the head of the Chinese secret police decides to assign the case to the force's most incompetent reject: a rural butcher who stands around all day drinking martinis (shaken, not stirred). With a trunkload of insanely useless gadgets and a contact who constantly tries to kill him, the young agent must locate the skull and find out just what is going on here.
This very funny spoof of the James Bond series manages to parody the basic elements — a dramatic opening, a credit title sequence of guns, bullets and sinuous female silhouettes, a tour round the armoury at HQ, and so on — while remaining totally faithful to Stephen Chiau’s style of comedy as a posturing phoney who finally delivers the goods.
Chiau plays a mainland Chinese secret agent, now working on a pork-meat stall in Shenzhen, who is re-activitated after 10 years to find the skull of a dinosaur stolen from a PLA airforce base in Shenyang. In Hong Kong he hooks up with agent Lee (Anita Yuen) who, unknown to him, has actually been sent to kill him. The central section is basically a series of situations between Chiau and Yuen where he tries to show off his skills and she clandestinely tries to shoot him: first with a gun that fires backwards, then forwards (wounding herself twice), and next when he gatecrashes a poolside party of an antiquities smuggler. (The latter leads to a humorously grisly scene where she literally digs out a bullet from his thigh.) Chiau and Yuen make a terrific team, he straightfaced throughout and she wide-eyed at both his incompetence and flashes of brilliance. In true Chiau style, he succeeds with the simplest of weapons – a meat cleaver carried in a holster that turns out (in the film’s final joke) to be a present from Deng Xiaoping. As usual, there are plenty of barbs against Mainlanders. The film’s Chinese title includes an untranslatable pun on “007”, and an opening caption stresses that “this film has no connection whatsoever with the James Bond 007 series.”
Thanks to Far East Film Festival
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