I put off watching this one for a long time. Just another spinoff/ripoff of Young And Dangerous, right ?
Reviewer Score: 9
There are plenty of parallels with and motifs from Y&D, as well as a few of the same actors. But S&D is at least as enjoyable and, in some areas, even better. For instance, a lot of this film is simply hilarious ! The antics of the girls with George, and George's lecherous parents provide much of the amusement.
S&D is pretty much an ensemble piece. Given this, it is remarkable how many of the characters manage to be more than one-dimensional. The standout is Francis Ng as George, a bragging buffoon with a sentimental nature, very much the opposite of Ugly Kwan, his role in Y&D. I certainly can't imagine Ben Ng's character treating Ugly as nadly as he treats George. Ng does a star turn with his character, playing very much against his normal nasty villain type. This is now my very favourite Francis Ng performance.
Perennial good-girl victim Lily Chung also plays against type as the vindictive bitch named Aids (!). She even gets to dish out punches and kicks in a wild fight scene, as opposed to being on the receiving end. Although it could be argues she ends up still being a victim, it's a refreshing change to see perhaps HK's sexiest woman (my opinion) showing that she really can act.
Of course, Karen Mok too does a great job of a somewhat limited role. Less successful is Loletta Lee, who looks lovely but basically wears the same expression throughout and pretty much sleepwalks through her part. George refers to Tersa Mak's character Little Star as "Big Tits", again displaying the Hongkie liking for stating the bleeding obvious. Unfortunately, Teresa suffers from the same restrictions as Loletta here, and her character is as underdeveloped as her bosoms are overdeveloped.
As I mentioned above, Wong Yat Fei and Mimi Chu are a scream as George's mum and dad. Their antics are worth renting the video aone, as is Francis Ng's performance.
Even Michael Tong does okay. Poor guy was given the brief to cover a part equivalent to Dior Cheng. I can just see the director saying to him "Look ! You're trying to be Dior. Try to act more wooden". Despite this impost, Tong manages to show quite a bit of emotion, and make his character a little more than one-dimensional.
At his best, producer Wong Jing is THE master of giving the audience what they want, and by the bucketload. Along these lines, I'd compare S&D with Wong's God of Gamblers Return, as one of Wong Jing's best achievements. It's pretty shallow, somewhat of a soap opera, but seems to cover a lot of feelings and human interactions, and it whips along at a cracking pace. Despite some of the above reservations, this one is highly recommended.