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飛哥傳奇 (2001)
The Legend of a Professional

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 02/18/2009

According to the Hong Kong Movie Database, The Legend of Professional was in theatres for exactly six days and took in a whopping total of $186. Ouch. Upon watching this entry in Anthony Wong's vast filmography, though, it's really not all that bad. But it's still not exactly what you'd call a "good" movie by any stretch of the imagination.

The Legend of Professional is about as cheap as they come. It's the sort of movie where the description on the back of the DVD case doesn't even match up with the disc inside it. Literally. The shred of a story contained here is about a hitman named Ho (Anthony Wong), who has put down his guns after killing an innocent man. Now, he's more concerned with pleasing his mom (Helena Law Lan), and so he hires Jenny (Josie Ho), a street girl on the run from loan sharks, to be his "girlfriend". Eventually, Ho's old life comes back to haunt him, and he must decide between money and love.

So that's a pretty simple story, one used (at least in spirit) by just about every movie about a hitman out there, which some of them (most notably The Killer) have used to great effect. The Legend of Professional's big problem is that it doesn't know to just concentrate on that story. Not only does director and writer Billy Chan unwisely decide to throw in comedy into the mix, he derails the proceedings at many points by concentrating on minor characters. Granted, one of them does result in a payoff near the end, but wasting nearly a fourth of the film focusing on someone that only comes through to provide a small shock during the finale is an exercise in bad film-making.

Speaking of bad film-making, the technical aspects of The Legend of Professional are fairly awful, particularly the soundtrack. The actors have been dubbed over with obvious and poor-sounding voice actors, while the musical score is unashamedly ripped off from western productions, most notably The Rock and GoldenEye. The fact that the person that "composed" the score had the gall to call himself "Au Lam Company Ltd." is either really funny or really sad, depending on your particular tilt.

Things aren't totally bad here, though. When The Legend of Professional actually pays attention to the hitman happenings via scenes helmed by Yuen Bo, things actually become fun... for a little bit. Sadly, these solid action bits are few and far between, and ultimately can't save The Legend of Professional from becoming a victim of its' own low-budget pedigree.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]

Reviewer Score: 4