HONG KONG 2010 Directed & Written by: Wong Jing Produced by: Lee Kwok-Hing, Zhuo Wu Cinematography: Suny Shum Cast: Charlene Choi, Benz Hui, Sandra Ng, Siu-Wong Fan, Tat-Ming Cheung, Lam Suet, Sammy Leung
I was honestly hoping that FUTURE X-COPS would be the most horrible movie Wong Jing is producing this year, but BEAUTY ON DUTY is really putting my nerves to the test.
I have been exposed to the typical Hong Kong humor and to Wong Jing’s version of that humor for decades. Sometimes it works or me, mostly it doesn’t. Humor is very subjective as well as a cultural facet, so in general it is very hard to tell funny from not funny.
Therefore I will not claim being objective when it comes to BEAUTY ON DUTY. On the other hand it’s a film released for the big screen and hence it is subject to criticism like any other movie out there.
Apart from the subjective quality of humor it must be noted that Wong Jing still cashes in on the same old recipe he is using since over 20 years now. He is still fooling the audience and they still don’t get it. The “story” (which is a rip-off and doesn‘t deserve a second of my time to recap here) provides a very basic framework for a non-stop firework of slapstick: no joke is too dumb, no topic too cliché-ridden and no overacting too much to provoke a reaction from the audience.
Everything has to be simple-stupid and as loud as possible. The smallest common denominator is what really matters. Nothing has changed for Wong Jing the almighty recycling machine since the 80’s: why invent it yourself when you can just steal it and make it worse? You got no ideas, no taste and no style? Go work with Wong Jing, there’s always plenty to do.
As mentioned elsewhere he could put is talent to better use, but unfortunately usually chooses not to. Even a veteran crew and cast cannot save a movie like BEAUTY ON DUTY, and seeing Sandra Ng, Tat-Ming Cheung or Andy Lau being degraded to clowns hurts – for a moment, then we realize they are generously compensated for their decision to act in junk like this. Shame on all of them.
BEAUTY ON DUTY is a disgrace to filmmaking. It has no artistic qualities whatsoever. If you are interested in watching a movie, look elsewhere. Your dog wouldn’t want to watch this one. BEAUTY ON DUTY doesn’t even come close to what is generally considered a movie.
BEAUTY ON DUTY is an un-movie. It’s must-miss cinema. And I am sure Roger Ebert would want to cut both his thumbs off seeing it (hope you read this review Roger, really).
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