Flirting Scholar (1993)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2009-02-27
“Flirting Scholar” is a vulgar mess of a movie with a hackneyed plot, full of stereotypical characters and lowbrow humor. It seems determined to offend as many people and groups as possible. With a cast of talented comic actors and a scattershot, ribald script that derides and undermines the conventions of several film genres, “Flirting Scholar” is a funny movie in which everyone is having a good time and invites the audience to do the same.

There is a lot in its favor including the showdown between representatives of two film generations of action movie icons, Cheng Pei-Pei and Gordon Li, Frances Ng almost recognizable as one of Stephen Chow’s scholarly sidekicks and Nat Chan being earnestly lecherous, ably abetted by Kingdom Yuen. The top attractions, though, are Stephen Chow and Gong Li, both of whom do exactly what viewers and, one assumes, the director wanted. Gong Li looked as gorgeous as anyone possibly could, perfectly flawless and very sexy. Stephen Chow had plenty of time and space for his almost unique brand of slapstick inspired comedy.

The director and screenwriters went for the cheap laughs—the cheaper the better—so that Steven Chow not only had to clean up dog droppings but also had his hand stomped into them by a passing soldier. Lee Kin-Yan wasn’t just a big, ugly, bearded ladyboy robber but had his finger up his nose when Chow approached him. Kingdom Yuen looked like a clown who flunked the make-up class in clown school and Wah On’s two students were not only stupid but also deformed.

The first few scenes, unfortunately, are among the weakest which could cause viewers to abandon “Flirting Scholar” a few minutes in. Those who do haven’t missed anything special but those who stick around should have a good time
Reviewer Score: 6