Field of Streams takes a look at Well Go USA’s newest kung fu crime caper
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Distributor Well Go USA has just added their newest release to the Hi-YAH streaming service, a silly and fast-paced action-comedy starring Philip Ng, with the mouthful of a title Undercover Punch and Gun. The film is the latest addition to the “Hi-Yah Originals” banner, identifying it as a streaming exclusive for the site.
Ng plays Xiao Wu, an undercover cop who has successfully infiltrated a drug organization, even working his way to the #2 spot and romancing the daughter of the boss, “Brother Bao” (the great Lam Suet, playing it pretty broad and hammy here).
When an exchange goes horribly wrong for them thanks to a mysterious third party, the gang suddenly finds themselves without their leader, their money, or their drugs, and Wu is the new boss.
Unfortunately for him, he’s just inherited Bao’s debts and allegiance to a major criminal kingpin, the extremely ruthless and Xia Qiankun (Andy On), who promptly kidnaps him as a show of power, then charges him with a new mission.
Joining Wu is his loyal sidekick is the oafish Hou Hu (Vanness Wu), who despite his clownish behavior and wankster persona is an accomplished fighter and worthy comrade, and deeply loyal to Wu who has twice saved his life. Wu and Hu collect a small team of “enemies of my enemy” to infiltrate the baddies and take them down once and for all, though the various allies, gangs, cops, friends, and foes can be a bit dizzying to keep straight.
With a title should like “Undercover Punch and Gun”, you should have a pretty fair idea of what to expect for the next 90 minutes, but the “punch” stuff is a lot better than the “gun”. With the martial arts stars involved, the action and stunt work is, naturally, pretty great. There is also a lot of gunplay, not only in close quarters fighting with pistols, but also with snipers on both sides. It’s not bad but clearly squib-free and handled in post — the blood spatters are obviously digital, and even more oddly, used very inconsistently. At times it’s almost like an older western where a bunch of thugs get shot but there’s no blood or bullet holes on anyone.
This is no Infernal Affairs. The film is very comedic, even when being dramatic, throwing out a lot of weird humor alongside the genuine action. It’s rather silly, while playing it all pretty straight. I enjoyed it well enough as entertainment, but I don’t imagine it’s one I’ll ever get the itch to watch again.
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