Heat Team (2004)

Reviewed by: Hyomil
Date: 04/07/2011

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 05/20/2009
Summary: arse and tongue...

after watching 'beast stalker', then 'the sniper' and declaring that dante lam was a hack, who would never again reach the heights of 'beast cops', 'jiang hu : the triad zone' or, even, 'twins effect', it was with trepidation i began viewing 'heat team'.

the film focusses on two cops; wong (eason chan) and lee (aaron kwok) who are brought into a special unit, led by fung (yumiko cheng), to investigate a robbery which may happen, then happens. wong is a womaniser, with a penchant for dating female cops, whilst lee is a bit of a sap, who still carries a torch for his ex-girlfriend, who kind of abuses him. things hot up after the robbery, when one of the crooks, to (victoria wu) is captured...

the first thing that should strike you is that the budget must have only been a fraction of what they spent on mr lam's two most recent efforts. this, in my opinion, is a good thing as it seems to force some creativity into the production, which is nice. secondly, there is comedy here; sure, it's not hilarious film, but at least it was making smile when it tried to and i wasn't just laughing at it for taking itself far too seriously.

i am, however, finding myself thinking about what they were up to when they were making this film; were they deliberately focussing on chan and kwok, whilst pushing the narrative thread to the point where it is almost insignificant? or, is it just a mess, where chan and kwok are the most interesting element of the film and the plot just holds no interest for the viewer? 'jiang hu...' may make you suggest the former, 'the sniper', the latter. i'm not sure.

the film is reasonably watchable, at best; mainly for chan, kwok cheng and wu, but also for danny lee's small role, as the police chief, which is played very nicely. it's kinda hard to recommend, but equally hard to totally dismiss. i'm not sure if that's praise or criticism...


Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 07/15/2005
Summary: Messy but enjoyable

I can't say I was a huge fan of 2001's HIT TEAM, but that's not really relevant since this 2004 film really has nothing to do with it other than the director & name. Why they chose such an obviously similar name for this film I don't know, because there is absolutely no sense in which it's related. Well, both have cops in them, but that relationship gives a hell of a family tree.

Coming from the writer-director team that was responsible for 2000's wonderfully absurdist comedy JIANG HU: THE TRIAD ZONE and was half responsible for the dark & smart BEAST COPS in 1998, it would be easy to get high expectations for HEAT TEAM. This would not be a good plan, as any similarities to those films are minor. Instead, put yourself in mind of a Wong Jing comedy from the early 90's and you'll have more of an idea what to expect and how to appreciate it. The script is all over the place, barely meeting the minimal requirements of coherency to be called a story, and the tone of the film shifts about as if they didn't decide what sort of film they were making until they were in the editing room. And they'd had a few beers.

So, if you're expecting a smart or serious police film, walk away now. There may be elements of one in here, but they're not where the film is successful. The parts of the film that work are the playful cameraderie between the leads (Eason and Aaron), and some moments of silliness that are undeniably amusing (Danny Lee's small role offering the best of these). There's some very nicely filmed shoot-out action too, but not enough to be offered as a reason to watch the film. The stylish cinematography and eclectic soundtrack occasionally suggests that they were going for a TOKYO RAIDERS vibe, but not consistent enough to really offer that film as a good reference point either.

Whether you enjoy the film will depend largely on whether you like Eason and Aaron. I suspect a good 75% of you just stopped reading right there, which I think is very mean (to the actors, not to me - I don't care if you read this or not). Both have had their bad roles, cast in films they weren't suited to, but both can be quite charming in the right film. Actually I think I've (nearly) always enjoyed Aaron Kwok's performances, and he's getting better with age. One day he'll be viewed the same way Andy Lau is now, mark my words!

The two play cops who are allegedly the best in Hong Kong, though the film never really offers any evidence for this assertion. They're assigned to a team investigating a major jewel thief who's just arrived in HK on a false passport, presumably for nefarious reasons. The head of the team is Yumiko Cheng, who's about to get married, and the three of them don't particularly get along. In particular, Eason and Aaron have a macho guy competition thing going on, and Yumiko is... err, about to get married. It's not a terribly well thought out set-up, but it serves its purpose. The other main cast member is Victoria Wu, a young hotty who's mixed up with the wrong crowd and becomes suspect/bait.

Enough of trying to explain the plot, the important thing is that stuff happens one after another and sometimes in a logical order, and that puts our major characters in various situations where we can study them and learn about them, or laugh at them when they're funny. And when it comes down to it, that's what we watch films for... right?

So whilst I can't honestly say that Heat Team is a good film, it's not quite a bad one either, though you might have to be a bit of a HK cinema junky to appreciate it. One could definitely be forgiven for wondering why a writer-director pair that's showed such intelligence and grasp of the medium in the past can't produce something a bit tighter now though.

Side note: the DVD from Universe offers yet another reason that they should be forcibly restrained from releasing DVDs. Despite having "HD" plastered over the sleeve the picture isn't even anamorphic (unforgivable with such a recent film), and the subtitles are dreadful. Come on fellas, catch up or quit!

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 07/07/2005
Summary: I enjoyed the film but,

In sequel to 2001's Hit Team, top Hong Kong director Dante Lam tries to mix police action film with off-beat buddy cop comedy with mixed results. Aaron Kwok seems to be sleepwalking through his fluffy role as a tough cop with a warm fuzzy heart for the ladies. Eason Chen plays, with some gusto, his role of a hard nosed cop who fancies himself as a gigolo with fellow lady police officers. Look for fine performances from the supporting cast members, especially Danny Lee, Victoria Wu and Dave Wong. Action sequences are very explosive and fun to watch. Comedy has several laugh out funny moments but is, for the most part, kind of flat. I must say that I enjoyed the film but, frankly, this director has done better movies.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 07/06/2005
Summary: Worst of late - absolute garbage

This movie, along with Cat and Mouse, are probably the 2 worst HK movies that I have seen made in the new millennium. I really can't think of ANYTHING positive about this stinker. The actors have ZERO chemistry on screen. Danny Lee is sure the odd ball here as he actually displays some range of acting, unlike everybody else.


Reviewer Score: 1

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 04/23/2005
Summary: Worth watching though a little disappointing

This is a movie which i did not use the fast forward button. I was engrossed watching the 2 main characters interact and how there personal lives effected there work

The action here is standard though i did enjoy the gun fight on the freeway. There are few amusing antics that occur that put a smile to your face rather than make you laugh

The ending is different but i felt cheated, i wanted more!!

Overall worth a watch


Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/25/2004

Heat Team is pretty much your standard "buddy cop" movie. This time out, Aaron Kwok plays the straight-laced stone-faced one (wow, big surprise) and Eason Chan is the "loose cannon". They're paired together by their captain (Danny Lee, who really looks like he needs a nap) to team up with a tough Interpol commander (Yumiko Cheng) to bring down a high-profile jewelry thief (Dave Wong). Of course, the partners hate each other at first, but bond together long enough to take on the bad guy.

There's really nothing going on here that's worth noticing. Besides a Heat-inspired firefight on a freeway, there's very little -- if anything -- that sets Heat Team apart from the billion other films of this type which have proceeded it. Still, the movie does deliver a kind of nice mindless popcorn fluff which hits the spot when you're sitting around with a case of beer and some people to cap on it with.

(review from www.hkfilm.net)

Reviewed by: Dhugal
Date: 09/03/2004
Summary: Sloppy Buddy Cops Outing...

Dante Lam, Beast Cops, Jianghu - The Triad Zone, Naked Ambition… increasingly busy HK director of every major film genre… But then comes 2004, Love on the Rocks, and Heat Team… 2 very different films, but two equally uneven works.

Don’t get me wrong. There is great promise in Heat Team. First, it looks great. Wong Wing-hang’s cinematography and Cheung Ka-fai’s MTV editing lend the proceedings an eye catching atmospheric blue tone and a punchy rhythm to what they’ve been given.

Second, Eason Chan and Aaron Kwok do well with what they’ve been given. Fans of Kwok, especially will be delighted to see him return to the big screen after his three year hiatus. Chan in particular, proves that he is an increasingly versatile actor capable of both drama, action and comedy, something rarely seen in HK actors since the godly Chow Yun-fat left these fragrant shores. There is pleasure too in seeing Danny Lee and Dave Wang up on the screen, playing their part in the increasing trend of the return of great older actors to the silver HK screen.

Third, there are some intermittent, funny jokes. Kwok and Chan share some genuinely amusing macho play offs…

But great acting, a great atmosphere and a couple of funny moments just don’t do enough to save this buddy cop drama comedy from it’s weak jokes which pad up the flaky diamond thieves and hostage plot… There are also far too many melodramatic diversions with minor characters, especially involving Kwok’s character’s ex-girlfriend. HK scriptwriters and directors, it seems, still have not totally mastered the Infernal Affairs tight script lesson…


Reviewed by: Souxie
Date: 06/24/2004
Summary: A.K.A. Heat Team: great fun

I liked it! I saw the premier with Aaron, Eason, Yumiko and the production cast, and I have to say I laughed my arse off for 100mins! The joked were good without being too slapstick, and although the plot was clearly disposable whenever they wanted it to be, I thought it was great. Action, laughs, danger, excitement, all those things - and Aaron in his first movie for a long time! He was fantastic, Eason was hilarious, and Yuumiko was a good foil, although she was mostly an extra with lots of lines.
I loved the "you shouldn't value your arse so much!" scene, and who really does have the softest tongue??? Fantastic entertainment - just don't think too hard or it'll fall apart. But for a good night out, watch it! I'm giving it only 9/10 cos Aaron didn't get his kit off. :)

Reviewer Score: 9