Reviewed by: MilesC
Summary: Modestly entertaining junk.
The more thought I give it, the worse this movie seems; plots and characters are set up and go nowhere, things that don't make much sense in the beginning don't make much more sense by the end, and the feel of the movie is late-'80s in the extreme, from the wildly varying tone right down to the wacky freeze-frame ending. But I stayed awake. I have only seen Cheung Ka-Fai in a few movies, but I think he could grow on me. But Helena Law Lan steals every scene she's in; it's a shame she's not in the movie more. Worth watching if you miss the '80s style; Aman Chang managed to make a watchable movie on what looks like practically no budget.
Reviewed by: ryan
Summary: He is My Enemy, Partner and Father-in-law (1999)
Aman CHANG Man was very active at the beginning of the year, but he suddenly 'disappeared' in the middle of the year. Now he is back as his latest directing effort, 'He is My Enemy, Partner and Father-in-law,' is now showing in theatres. Also interesting is the movie's cast: Nick CHEUNG Ka-fai from 'The Conman,' Danny LEE Sau-yin, known for his many police movies, and Helena LAW Lan from the horror genre.
In the movie, a Taiwanese triad leader, KWAN Yuen, makes a deal with a local triad head, HO Yat-shan, but is betrayed by HO. KWAN decides to return to Hong Kong for revenge. Meanwhile, Stallone (Nick CHEUNG Ka-fai), a third-class triad member, and his mom (Helena LAW Lan) have failed to repay their debts to HO. Stallone is being beaten in HO's office when KWAN arrives to kill HO and his partners. Of course, Stallone is the only witness to the crime. Officer LEE (Danny LEE Sau-yin), an inspector known as Y2K and nearing retirement, is assigned to protect Stallone. The two men have totally different personalities, and they clash a lot during their time together. At the same time, Y2K's wife (LUI Yau-wai) comes back to Hong Kong with her daughter Angel (CHAN Sze-wing) and asks for a divorce, so Danny must try to save both his family and Stallone.
The title, 'He is My Enemy, Partner and Father-in-law,' describes the relationship between Stallone and Y2K, but there is very little here that is original. In fact, the character of Stallone is derived from Nick CHEUNG's successful turn as 'Dragon' from 'The Conman' (1998) and 'The Conman in Vegas' (1999). The whole character is just a clone of that one. On the positive side, being so experienced with this type of role, Nick CHEUNG Ka-fai gives a cool performance. Dannny LEE Sau-yin is once again playing the tough cop. Audiences should note that the pairing of the two is something they've seen countless times in the past.
The performance of Helena LAW Lan is more interesting. As Stallone's mother, she is able to pretend to be different types of people in different situations. Nonetheless, her character is more or less the same as what YIP Tak-han had done in 'Prince Charming' (1999).
Not only are characters 'borrowed' from other movies; the plot of 'He is My Enemy, Partner and Father-in-law' is very familiar. The scene in which Stallone is beaten by triad members is a duplicate of the one in 'Prince Charming.' They even repeat the use of Eric TSANG's television program, 'Super,' using part of 'Guess the Song.' It is very bizarre.
The movie has many sub-plots, such as the relationships between Y2K and his family and the one that develops between Stallone and Y2K's daughter, Angel. The filmmakers also throw in some Taiwanese triad maneuverings. However, these plot elements are simply thrown together, and nothing is really elaborated upon. There's just not enough here to impress the audience.
In short, 'He is My Enemy, Partner and Father-in-law' is just a collection of characters we've seen before (from Nick CHEUNG Ka-fai in 'The Conman' series and 'Prince Charming' to Danny LEE Sau-yin from his cop movies) in a plot that's been duplicated from other movies. Fortunately, the performances of Nick CHEUNG and Helena LAW Lan are still good or it would been a total loss.