Tiger on the Beat (1988)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2005-07-12
Summary: Buddy cops again? Watch Chow Yun Fat.
A departure of character for Chow Yun-Fat, Tiger on Beat is an action/comedy that places two mismatched cops together on a case to bust a Thai drug-dealing ring. Chow Yun-Fat plays Francis Li, a notoriously lazy and disinterested cop who gets teamed with gung-ho new recruit Michael Cho (Conan Lee - a dead ringer for a young Jackie Chan). Francis's style may be unorthodox, but it leads them to Marydonna (Nina Li), the sister of one of the Thai dealers that had been murdered after stealing some of the merchandise and selling it for himself. Marydonna gets nabbed by the gang, but Michael manages to bust in and chases off the bad guys before she is killed. Later, a couple of breaks allow Francis and Michael to bust the gang in the middle of a huge deal, but the main enforcer (Gordon Liu) escapes, and manages to kidnap Francis's sister. After he demands a trade for the gang's leader (Tsui Siu-leung), Francis and Michael go to make the switch, as well as take no prisoners in their quest to rescue Francis's sister.

Unfortunately, the "pair the two squabbling cops on a case" routine has been done before (i.e. Lethal Weapon) and this movie is pretty generic, save for the performance of Chow Yun-fat. He's very funny as the shabby, lackadaisical Francis and basically becomes the main reason for seeing the film. Although he is mostly known for the smooth, sophisticated "killer" type roles, he is also very good in his comic ones. Conan Lee plays a pretty good straight man to Yun-Fat's comic turn, but is a little stiff in his solo scenes. Although the action is plentiful, the martial arts look poorly choreographed, save for the still awesome moves of Gordon Liu, a staple of old Shaw Brothers kung fu classics. The final fight between Liu and Conan Lee is something to behold, with the two of them battling with huge chainsaws, shredding everything in sight and slicing at each other for a good 15 minutes. However, other than this exciting final battle, there isn't much that distinguishes this movie from the rest.
Reviewer Score: 7