From Beijing with Love (1994)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2005-08-05
Summary: A few more hits than misses
There is plenty to satirize about the interminable string of James Bond movies and Stephen Chow's Hong Kong version is a good attempt. There may be twice as many laughs for those who (unlike me) know about Cantopop in the mid-1990s and other "local" institutions that are also sent up.

Chow is gifted and occasionally brilliant--some of the devices in "From Beijing with Love" are hilarious. Examples are the toilet phone that connects the corrupt PRC general with his assassin; pornography as an anesthetic during amateur surgery and the lame spy hardware invented by the mental patient who is head of research.. Others, like the transvestite hooker in the cheap motel or the flame throwing bra that they forgot to fill with gas were too obvious.

There is some shocking violence—shocking only that it appears suddenly in the middle of a comedy but is not followed up or even commented upon afterwards. A father is gunned down while pleading with criminals to spare his baby son after they had taken the child hostage during a failed robbery—weird and unnecessary.

The funniest parts of this movie were some of the quick, small touches—Chow acting like a buffoon but not knowing it. Showing up for his first interview in 10 years with military intelligence wearing his butcher apron over a bare chest and a huge straw hat is one example.

A lightweight and not completely satisfying confection.
Reviewer Score: 6