ܴLL (2006)
Undercover Hidden Dragon


Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 01/27/2008
Summary: eclectic, esoteric

Undercover Hidden Dragon is an eclectic, quite esoteric action comedy from the talented filmmaking duo of Gordon Chan Ka-Seung and Dante Lam Chiu-Yin. You'll have to have an appreciation of the comedy styling of Ronald Cheng to enjoy this film fully. There are some nice action set pieces by action director Wong Wai-Fai mixed with the loony comedy scenes. Cheng is quite good playing two roles; he had me completely fooled. My current 'most favorite' actor, Lam Tze-Chung, is featured as Cheng's buddy. They perform a musical number that you must see. Theresa Fu Wing, Miki Yeung Oi-Gan, and Ella Koon Yan-Loh get honorable mention for their performances as the undercover police officers.

happyfortune.org

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 07/14/2006
Summary: Ugh...

Man, what a trainwreck Undercover Hidden Dragon is. Actually, "trainwreck" is probably too strong of a word, because that might indicate that there was something -- anything -- of interest going on here. While it was obivously produced to capitalize on the success of Ronald Cheng's successful Dragon Loaded films, Undercover Hidden Dragon captures very little of those movies' fun and creativity, resulting in yet another snooze-fest HK film-makers have wafted upon audiences this year.

I'm not going to go into any real detail about the plot, because there really isn't any depth to it. Ronald Cheng plays a bumbling low-level Triad who is spotted by a trio of too young/too cute cops, who think he is really a undercover officer who has lost his memory. In order to get into their (as well as the local dai lo's girl's) pants, he agrees to become a mole. And that's about it. The writers (all three of them!) try to inject some subplots, but nothing gets seen to completion, and as such, everything falls flat as a result. The directors try to make up for this by having all of the actors scream their lines, or when things get really desperate, curse in English. It's stuff like this that gives Hong Kong comedies a bad name with many viewers. Undercover Hidden Dragon is loud, dumb, and just not funny.

There are a couple of bright spots, such as parodies of Masked Rider and Initial D. What there is of the too-brief action sequences is very well-done (though Cheng is quite obivously doubled for most of them). Plus, the females in the film add some nice eye candy. But it felt like a chore getting through Undercover Hidden Dragon, which watching a movie should never be under any circumstances. I know Hong Kong movies will probably never be up to the level of the "golden age" ever again, but surely HK film-makers can come up with something better than this half-ass effort.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]

Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 04/23/2006
Summary: Atrocious twaddle

There are few things more unbearable than unfunny comedy.

The story starts without promise and only occasionally springs to life before sinking back into meandering nonsense. The script has the feel of being made up as it went along, with so little connection between scenes that it could almost be a collection of sketches that all fell flat.

Perhaps the scriptwriters had ADHD. Example : the flying contraption in which the lead actor appears on the poster comes in about half way through the film. He and the inevitable fat buddy are strapped into these ludicrous flying suits. They leap off tall buildings, harrassing criminals and rescuing damsels. Then the story continues as if these super hero antics hadn’t happened. No reference is made to this scene, before or after.

This film is built as a comedy vehicle for the lead actor, who engages in a lot of mugging, squealing and wild antics. To be fair, the Hongkies in the audience with me giggled and laughed a bit, though they paid more attention to each other and their mobile phones than to the film. The lead actor dominates the film, so how you react to it will be based on whether you like the guy’s style or not.

There is just one bright spot. About twenty minutes in, a mysterious and unnamed gangster wearing a cape comes flying through the air and starts kicking members of another gang. There follows about a minute of furious and well-choreographed fighting. This chap appears twice more, including near the end. In the brief time he spends on screen, he lights up proceedings and things get exciting.

Note to producers : If you make a sequel, build it around this flying kicking guy and his antics. Then, the worst you could do would be to make a movie of action-packed humourless nonsense, rather than just humourless nonsense.

Oh yes, and the women are nice to look at. And, given the chance, they are pretty good fighters and kickers to boot. Burt they only get to show their stuff in all-too-brief bursts.

These brief and exciting sequences serve only to make the rest of the movie look like the crap that it is. The only other positive comment I have is that the cinematography was quite pleasant.

If this movie was the effort of first time directors, producers or writers it might, just might be excusable. But considering the experience and past successes of Gordon Chan and Dante Lam, I can only wonder what they were thinking.

This is undoubtebly the worst HK movie I have seen in years.

Reviewer Score: 1