六三三
Vice Squad 633 (1979)


Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 07/17/2009
Summary: no relation to 633 squadron...

this is a pretty odd film. it starts with what appears to be a flashback, complete with a voice-over that tells you about two undercover cops who were killed in a love hotel: i thought it must have been a sequel, but it is actually an event which will occur later in the film. what is even stranger, is that this is followed by funky, comic song, which accompanies the opening credits, with lyrics that talk about the crappy life of a bus driver...

it is this bus driver who becomes the focus of the film, working hard to support his wife and kid, who live in a run-down hovel. he accidentally becomes a heroin addict and then starts working with the police, after they realise he is not just your average junkie bus driver. the police then begin to investigate a murders, which are made to appear as if they are suicides...

yep, it is a pretty incoherent, mess, that juggles the serious and the ridiculous, and only just manages to finish up having something that remotely resembles a narrative. still, it was kinda fun to watch, mainly because of it's late-seventies stylings and a canto-funk soundtrack which, at times, can only be described as killer.

hard to recommend, but not without its merits...


Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 10/26/2008

Ostensibly a serious police procedural drama that follows a special team as they try and crack a heroin-dealing ring, Vice Squad 633 veers all over the map during its' running time. This sort of thing is fairly common in Hong Kong movies, where a film can be dead serious in one scene and cartoonishly funny the next.

The great movies can pull this genre-switching off effectively, and have done so to make some of the most unique films produced anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, Vice Squad 633 isn't one of those movies. It's not a bad picture per se, but one gets the feeling that if the film-makers had concentrated on the actual police action rather than dopey comedy or T&A, this could have been a much more effective movie.

Vice Squad 633 does hit a lot of things right, though. The whole style of the movie, drenched in 1970's cheese, gives it a wonderful sense of style. Almost like a bad acid flashback, the mise-en-scene -- propelled by an outstanding funk/synth soundtrack -- nails the senses, and makes the proceedings fun to look at, even when some of what's actually going on isn't all that exciting.

There's also a sense of reckless abandon which is a bit infectious. Vice Squad 633 comes off at times like a Wong Jing movie, with so much stuff thrown at the viewer. The problem with this method of film-making is not everything sticks, but when it does, the proceedings can get quite exciting, if a bit puzzling. Case in point: near the end, the cops turn in their guns, which apparently allows them to forget about getting a warrant and just go in and bust the bad guys. The kung fu-filled final confrontation turns out to be pretty solid, but the set up makes little to no sense.

At any rate, despite its' flaws, Vice Squad 633 is a fairly enjoyable cop action/drama. There's nothing award-winning about it, and some parts might have you itching for the fast-forward button. But overall, this is a nice example of Hong Kong movie-making in its' prime, when even the most throwaway of entries could at least provide some decent brainless entertainment.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]

Reviewer Score: 6