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] (1992)
Hero Dream

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 01/19/2001
Summary: Surprisingly enjoyable

Having read the attached review (see "Links"), I approached this one with some dread. But I was curious about a few features of this film, including seeing the Chin brothers. And I'm glad I decided to rent it.

Not that Hero Dream is a great movie. It can be criticized on many points. I agree that Carrie Ng was wasted as the airheaded and affectionate housewife. And the plot seems like so many other made-up-as-they-filmed muddled actioners with slabs of porn thrown in, more or less at random. And the acting isn't real flash. And there are several dead spots, where not a lot happens and the movie grinds to a halt.

But nor is it awful. For one thing, producer/actor Lau Siu Kwan is more generous with the nude/sex scenes than your average Cat III no-brainer, in quality as well as quantity. Right from the opening few minutes, when the phone rings and is answered by an uncredited nude lovely, the camera pans down her naked body, and lingers for a fairly close gynaecological examination whilst Lau Siu Kwan sleepily takes a message. A bit later, we are treated to an extended sex scene featuring a porn actor (who also starred in the terrific defies-description classic cheapie Madam Q) performing two-storey sex with buxom Taiwanese centrefold Ga Ling (uncredited, as she often was) and another sweetie. Again, close-up gynaecology is in order, which makes me wonder how this film got away with Cat III. I'd have thought it was nudging an X rating.

But I digress. It did turn out to be a pleasure watching the Chin brothers bounce off each other (often, quite literally !). The scenes where they fight each other (one plays a cop, the other a crime boss) are everything you'd expect from two seasoned action stars ... and more. It's just a pity these routines are so short. Watching these guys doing smooth and fast kicks and their reactions is simply wonderful.

And, for Michiko fans, she appears nude. Yes, full nude. But it's all discreet, of course. She doesn't get to do much of the action or mean stuff. However, like the Chins, she makes up for it by quality rather than quantity. For instance, the scene where a turncoat tries to draw a gun on her. She kicks the gun out of his hand and it flies high in the air. Then she whacks him a few more times before catching the gun and shooting him in the head. All this in one fluid set of moves. Hilarious, economical and superbly done.

The love sub-plot between Chin Siu Ho and the Thai nurse is somewhat unconvincing at first, especially at that speed. But there's a warmth between the characters which grows and draws you in.

I guess what I like about this film is it's moments. Entertaining momentary bursts of coordinated fighting. Lingering nude shots. Moments of understanding between the Chins.

Yes, the film is rather lumpy. But some of the lumps are pretty tasty. Recommended.

Reviewer Score: 7