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Lady Cop and Papa Crook – Review August 11, 2009

Posted by Cello in Movie Reviews.
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LadyCopPapaCrook

The movie goes like this, Eason is a triad leader whose son is kidnapped by someone and so after a series of event, Sammi becomes in charge on the case. Basically a film about cops trying to chase the kidnapper and in the process, there is an internal war going on between the gangs. Pretty run of the mill stuff here. The success of Infernal Affairs have made Felix Chong and Alan Mak household names in the Hong Kong crime thriller genre. Their latest offering is Lady Cop and Papa Crook.

Attempts to humanize the characters were not spared, especially with a host of characters going about attending to their personal affairs in the midst of a high profile kidnapping case. And here’s where the unexpected fun is too, with some sprinkling of comedy which I thought was a welcome departure from what could have been the usual deadpan, serious approach. I normally do not watch too many Hong Kong made films, particular ones staring pop singers.  Not sure if it was my low expectations, but to my surprise, this movie was definitely entertaining. It should be noted that as the story progressed, a lot of the jokes began disappearing; some shockingly violent scenes replaced them, and all of a sudden Lady Cop and Papa Crook began looking more like a serious triad picture than a light comedy with a twist.

LadyCopPapaCrook2

There’s no denying that Lady Cop and Papa Crook is a somewhat chaotic affair, jumping as it does between domestic farce, kidnapping drama and hard edged triad action. Still, this is pretty much par for the course when it comes to Hong Kong cinema, and although the plot is a little confusing in places, the film is arguably none the worse from it. The film does take a bit of time before the viewer understands fully what is going on. But, this could just be from my perspective, not necessarily yours. Perhaps it had to do with the fact this movie hit the theater a couple weeks ago and I could only get my hands on the mandarin version with shoddy subtitles.

The sub plot is very interesting. In matters of love, our lead female cop is totally at wit’s end. After dating the same man for more than ten years with no likely prospect of a wedding, she determines to cut ties, before she becomes too old for childbirth. Poised at the crossroad of her life, she is thrilled to be assigned to investigate the kidnap of John’s son.  The above would be blazingly commercial but not totally unwelcome, and anyone who assumes that Lady Cop is like the above description should receive an award for thinking the obvious. Well, better rethink those expectations. I would imagine the potential that Lady Cop and Papa Crook could have achieved if not for the forced re-writes but it’s still an enjoyable film once you recognize the effort put in by the writers and directors.
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