Undercover Punch and Gun 潛龍狙擊 (2019) - Hong Kong
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
One of the worst film of the year that manages to be so cheesy that it’s bad and fun. It’s a film of mixed emotions as we finally managed to see three current action heroes reunite (Andy On, Philip Ng and Vanness Wu) in a film that should simply never be made. It is that sad. I wouldn’t say that the film is a complete disappointment, but the duo directors of Lui Koon-nam and Frankie Tam Kwong-yuen should really know better and probably will benefit from attending film school for directing over again. With numerous cameos by well known Hong Kong cinema veterans Nicholas Tse in the soulless role as police supervisor, Susan Shaw flares best as the playful drug lord and Lam Suet also appears. The film suffers from trying to play with too many things, with a lack of focus on characters, story and situations, the film is ultimately wayward and downwards.
Philip Ng gets another starring role, but is easily wasted as his kicks and punches never land the killing blow to make this film elevate beyond its demise. Likewise Andy On is far better than this premises as his physical presence is largely wasted. The only decent scene comes in the fight sequences between Ng and On as the two seems to be battling in another movie altogether. Vanness Wu largely appears in the background and better use of his character can be seen in the recent Ip Man 4. Here he is just purely cartoonish and insignificant. As far as a reunion of the 2003 entertaining action film “Star Runner”, the trio have certainly moved backwards with this one.
All in all, “Undercover Punch and Gun” is the kind of film that should never have left the cutting board and how it appears on the big screen remains an unknown mystery. Still with a strong enough cast of next generation action stars that are deal to replace the ageing Li, Chan and Yen for Hong Kong cinema. This is an extremely disappointing attempt to revitalise the genre. As for the duo of experienced screenwriters turned directors Lui and Tam, it is one that they will want to forget as soon as possible.
I rated it 4/10