Display [English] [Big5]
You are currently displaying Big5
@ (1990)
Curry and Pepper

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 07/03/2007
Summary: mmm...

curry (jacky cheung) and pepper (stephen chow) are cops who work in tsim sha tsui and don't seem to take things too seriously. when a young newsreader lady, mimi (ann bridgewater), decides to film a day in the life of some local police, she chooses curry and pepper! while competing for mimi's affections, curry and pepper get a tip about an illegal weapons exchange that's going down, but things don't quite go to plan and the pair find themselves in trouble with their superiors and targets for a crazed killer, mad dog (blacky ko).

a pretty damn entertaining mix of goofy comedy and nicely executed action sequences raise this above your standard cop / buddy flick; stephen chow and jacky cheung (who i prefer in comedy roles) work well together and seem to be having a lot of fun. there isn't anything particularly new or clever here, but what is there is done well enough to negate this.

as well as chow and cheung, eric tsang entertains as their crooked friend and blacky ko is nicely psychotic as a scar-faced killer. ko, also directs and handles the film's action sequences which provide a nice mixture of martial arts, stunt work, car chases and an extended gun battle which provifes a fitting finale to the film.

good stuff...

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 09/12/2006
Summary: Stars shine.

Though considered by some folks to be a prime representation of the police action genre, I will tell you that this film is a fine example of a talented filmmaker in over his head. An early film featuring Stephen Chow Sing-Chi, he shares great screen chemistry with his co-star Jacky Cheung Hok-Yau. Their scenes together serve as the centerpiece of the film and are absolute reason to see it, if you are a fan of either performer.

The problem with the film, as I see it, lies with director Blacky Ko Sau-Leung who cast himself as the villain, a role he puts himself into wholeheartedly. Ko is a talented action director who created many exciting sequences in a number of films. On this film, he displays somewhat ham-handed skills when he moves up to the director's chair. Despite working from a well written screenplay by James Yuen Sai-Sang and getting solid performances from the principal players, Ko lets the movie run into a Terminator-esque shoot-out finale that is 15 minutes too long.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 06/25/2006
Summary: 7.5 - good buddy cop action/comedy

Curry & Pepper are two CID detectives who "don't play by the rules" or take their jobs very seriously, it appears. Dimply journalist Mimi (Ann Bridgewater) decides to do a "day in the life" special on the police, and picks these two as her desired subjects - to the consternation of their superior (talented scriptwriter Barry Wong). After screwing up an undercover operation to bust some gun smugglers, the gang's hitman (played by director Blacky Ko) takes a personal interest in the duo - an interest which they reciprocate. Meanwhile, a love triangle develops which threatens to destroy the buddies' friendship.

To become a big star in Hong Kong, an actor generally has two routes - a dual career as pop star and screen idol, or working really really hard. Stephen Chiau chose the latter, and 1990 was the year when he paid his dues, appearing in 11 films before his breakout hit ALL FOR THE WINNER established him as a bankable star (presumably meaning he got paid enough per movie to make fewer of them). CURRY & PEPPER was one of the other films from that year, and although the signs of his talent and persona were starting to appear by this point, it's not in the mo lei tau style that became his trademark. It's one of those films that shows he has genuine range and talent as an actor, rather than just "playing himself". He is paired in this film with Jacky Cheung... who chose the other route to stardom (being one of the most popular singers in Hong Kong as well as a reasonably talented actor).

The love interest in the film is Ann Bridgewater, who is always quite lovely but isn't challenged with much actual acting in this particular film. Director and action choreographer Blacky Ko puts in a much more memorable turn as the scar-faced villain. Barry Wong offers a good supporting performance, and Eric Tsang... is rather annoying actually.

The film marries fairly standard buddy cop stuff with fairly standard love triangle stuff, which makes for a non-challenging but entertaining enough story that's driven by the charisma and chemistry of the two leads. Jacky and Stephen play well off each other, and keep the film fun to watch. Unfortunately Ann is a bit too weak and airy, meaning that she doesn't provide the antagonism that her character should have brought to the triangle.

Luckily Blacky Ko compensates for this weakness with his character and with some really nice action choreography. He's best known for his car/motorbike stunts, and there is a nice car chase scene as you would expect, but he also cooks up some of the best gun action pre-Hard Boiled. It's definitely the action and the comedic interplay of the two leads which make the film enjoyable, not the tepid romance.

The film also earns points for some really lovely cinematography from Andrew Lau. He uses many stylised tricks and tons of color filters, leading to some gorgeous imagery that is perhaps too lush for a comedy film at times. The man certainly had a special talent for capturing Hong Kong the city, in all its neon-lit glory, and the film definitely evokes the atmosphere of Tsim Sha Tsui, making me feel quite... whatever the opposite of homesick is... awaysick? :-p

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 07/13/2005

Despite his co-starring role, don't confuse Curry and Pepper with a "real" Stephen Chow movie. The picture was made early in his film career, and Chow had not yet produced works that featured his "moy len tau" ("nonsense comedy") style; that would come later in the same year with movies like God of Gamblers II and All for the Winner. Curry and Pepper is actually closer in style and tone to the "buddy cop" flicks that both Hong Kong and the US cranked out during this period.

Chow here plays the "loose cannon" role, while his partner Jacky Cheng plays the more straight-laced partner. Even though they are screw-ups on the job, the duo are picked by a reporter (Ann Bridgewater) to "star" in a Cops-esque documentary. Of course, both guys fall in love with the reporter, which leads to friction between the friends. Eventually, Curry and Pepper have to put their differences aside to take down a vicious gun-runner named Mad Dog (Blacky Ko).

The plot here is nothing mind-blowing, but then, these types of movies aren't exactly known for their deep stories. Curry and Pepper's main problem is that the comedic bits just aren't that funny. I wasn't expecting much from the dramatic parts (again, a given for the genre), but the comedy here is simply lame for the most part. Mostly, it consists of people yelling a lot. Sometimes, they yell in English. And for those times, when the film-makers are going for the big laughs, they have the actors swear in English. I will grant that there are a few funny bits presented here, but, for the most part, it looks like both Stephen Chow and Jacky Cheung are having as much fun as passing a kidney stone, and that isn't exactly conducive to initiating belly laughs from the audience.

What really saves Curry and Pepper from being a total stinker are the action sequences. Even though Blacky Ko isn't too well-known by western audiences, he was actually one of Hong Kong's more solid action directors, and he definitely puts on a good show here. The gunfights aren't up to the levels of the Hong Kong classics, but they're still very tight and almost make the viewer forget about the crap that surrounds them. Almost. Even though I'm a big action junkie and there's some good firefighting on display here, the shootouts simply aren't good enough to negate the sinkhole of lame comedic attempts which surrounds them. Huge Stephen Chow or action fans might want to check this one out for the sake of completism, but there are certainly a lot more movies out there which are more worthy of your hard-earned time and money.

A bit of trivia: John Woo's "Hard Boiled" also had a tough gun-runner character called Mad Dog, and a scene in "Curry and Pepper" takes place in the same jazz club featured in Woo's bloodshed epic as Tequila's hideout.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]

Reviewed by: danton
Date: 03/30/2002

1990 was a busy year for Stephen Chiau, with him being involved in about a dozen movies. This year also marks the first time he found what proved to be a winning formula for his films with All for the Winner. From that point forth, this new Stephen Chiau persona and signature comedy style he first showed in AFTW pretty much set the direction for all his future hits. I've gotten so used to expecting him to play that same persona that whenever I watch an older movie of his, it doesn't even "feel" like a Stephen Chiau movie...

Such is the case with Curry and Pepper, a buddy cop action comedy starring Jacky Cheung as Curry, and Stephen as his police partner (and roommate) Pepper. Set against a jazzy musical score, the movie follows the laid-back banter and cool action of these two inspectors as they roam the streets of HK arresting small-time hustlers and paying special attention to the ladies. One lady in particular, a reporter curiously named "High Mimi" has them pulling out all the stops (and who can blame them, when the lady in question is played by the lovely Ann Bridgewater). Between romancing Mimi, arguing with each other, arresting some crooked gwailos and chain-smoking cigarettes, the movie strolls alongs without any undue haste, until a main plot begins to crystalize. This main plot gets introduced in the form of a very young-looking Eric Tsang who plays an informer who tips off our heroes about a gang of evil weapons smugglers. Soon the bullets fly, some characters die, and it's up to Curry and Pepper to save the day. The big action showdown at the end is nothing out of the ordinary, except that it's not the kind of thing you expect to be see in a Stephen Chiau movie, at least not when it's beiung played straight. But then again, this isn't really a Stephen Chiau movie...

On the whole, the movie is nothing special, but good enough for some 90 minutes of mindless fun. I'd give it a marginal recommendation.

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 03/07/2002
Summary: nothing special!!

A average buddy cop movie witha few laughs and some action, but nothing new or that exciting.


Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/12/2002
Summary: Nothing new, but quite good!

As far as comedy goes, this is very good. Not one of Stephen Chows classics though, but still entertaining,

The story is just another Hong Kong police story that we've all seen in countless movies, but the team of Stephen and Jacky is something that has not been done before, as far as I can remember, and they work pretty well together. Plenty of action too, but slowly paced in places.

Rating (out of 5): 3.5

Reviewed by: spanishninja
Date: 06/11/2001
Summary: Vintage Chow

Curry and Pepper should probably not be typed with most of Stephen Chow's comedies, as this particular work isn't really a Chow vehicle. It is instead just a standard buddy-cop action comedy that just happens to have Stephen Chow as one of its stars. So classic Chow trademarks such as the "scissors legs" will not be seen here. In fact, from a comedic point of view, Stephen doesn't really do much in this film at all. Curry and Pepper is more about gunfights than comedy, although it does have some romance tossed in for good measure as well. Nevertheless, one who chooses to sample "Sing Yeh's" earlier movies will do well to check this title out, as it represents a part of Chow's transition from supporting actor to mainstream star. Oh yeah, Jacky Cheung is in it too. Rating = 7.5/10

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: tcooc
Date: 02/23/2001

Great 1980s action-comedy starring Stephen Chow and Jacky Cheung as two unorthodox Hong Kong cops. Perfect example of how HK filmmaking used to be able to make a film go from hilarious comedy to hard-core action to serious melodrama and make it all work. Curry & Pepper is more comedy than anything else, but the final action scene is rather bloody and over-the-top.

Reviewed by: sarah
Date: 01/24/2000
Summary: funky

Curry and Pepper

A stylish actioner/black comedy with a solid cast. There are three stars, Sing Jai, Jackie Cheung (as a pair of cops with attitude) and Hong Kong, which supplies a suitably funky backdrop. Sing Jai does his unlucky in love routine, losing out to his partner, although you wonder who he is really jealous of sometimes. Jackie Cheung and the girl are both so irritating that they deserve each other, but the love triangle is the basic fuel of many a plot. It gives Sing Jai a chance to display an impressive array of pissed off expressions. All the smaller roles are filled with quality HK talent, the most notable being Blackie Ko , director and chief bad guy. The action scenes are first rate, especially the supermarket scene and the finale, which has to be seen to be believed.

Reviewed by: hokazak
Date: 12/09/1999

Good "unorthodox buddy cop" drama w/ Cheung and Chow as the title characters, "Curry" and "Pepper" and Anne Bridgewater plays the tv reporter that they both become interested in. A good movie to see before watching "Pom Pom and Hot Hot"...

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Action comedy of two cops, Chow and Cheung, trying to catchbad guys while TV reporter, Bridgewater, films them in action for a new story.

[Reviewed by Edith Fung]

Reviewed by: spinali
Date: 12/08/1999
Summary: NULL

HK cop Jackie Cheung, his partner Curry Chicken, and their master marksman boss try to bust a triad drug ring in serio-comic fashion. The movie's only distinguishing characteristics: (1) gorgeous Michelle Lee (in the role of the mainland girl gone HK), and (2) the sensational concluding gun-battle in a noirish warehouse, with weapons, bullets, and bodies flying everywhere.


[Reviewed by Steve Spinali]

Reviewer Score: 6