Rock N' Roll Cop
Director: Kirk Wong
Stars: Anthony Wong, Yu Rong Guang, Wu Xing Guo, Carrie Ng
A dangerous gangster (the "no.1 most wanted man in HK" according to the subs) played by Yu Rong Guang flees from HK to the Mainland. The "rock n' roll cop" (Anthony Wong, so nick-named for his love of classic rock music) is sent by his superiors to capture him. Trouble is, his superiors (for some reason) don't like him very much and after he enters the Mainland, he's treated as a traitor. The Mainland cops (led by Wu) don't like Wong a lot either and don't do much to help, especially when Wu finds out that Yu's girlfriend is his long lost love (Ng). However, as with most buddy cop pictures, the two mismatched cops draw together to go after Yu.
Rock N' Roll Cop was Kirk Wong's final film in his "true crime" trilogy (films based on actual cases). Unfortunately, it's not as good as either Crime Story or Organized Crime and Triad Bureau. The plot is really weak (the "Mainland vs. HK cop" gimmick is as overused in Hong Kong as the "young rookie vs. crusty old-timer" plot device in America) and the script leaves some gaping holes. For example, it's never really clear why Wong's superiors want to treat him as a traitor, and how or why this would help the HK cops catch Yu. And there's not one, but two, of the dreaded "mandatory" romantic subplots. They might have actually worked in this film (since there is some connection to the general plot), but the romantic scenes quickly turn into cheesy mush, which detracts from the gritty feel of the rest of the movie. Again, this may have been helped with a better script.
The performances in Rock N' Roll Cop are average at best. This is especially suprising since three of the cast members (Wong, Ng and Wu) won Hong Kong Film Awards the previous year. Yu Rong Guang plays his standard nasty villain role, but there's nothing really impressive. He just doesn't come off as the sort of criminal that both the HK and Chinese police would be after so intently. Anthony Wong, usually one of the most powerful actors in HK cinema, looks as if he's sleepwalking through his role (some people have pointed out that he played a very similar character in a HK TV movie called Iron Butterfly -- maybe he was just bored). The other actors do an okay job, but, again, nothing worth getting excited about.
There are some good action scenes in Rock N' Roll Cop (particularly at the end, which is quite bloody), but it comes too little, too late -- Rock N' Roll Cop is certainly not "the new Hard-Boiled" some critics make it out to be. This is a crime movie that falis to get away from the trappings of the genre. After seeing what Kirk Wong could do in his previous films (especially with Jackie Chan in Crime Story), Rock N' Roll Cop -- while not horrible -- is a disappointment.
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