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Original Title:
Cheng chong chui lui chai 2004

Hong Kong 2004


Wong Jing

Chapman To
Eric Tsang
Shawn Yue
Lam Tze-Chung
Nat Chan Candice Yu Raymond Wong Jerry Lamb Wong Jing

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Love is a many stupid Thing

Story: Three policemen, Yan (Chapman To), Keung (Shawn Yue) and Fatty (Lam Tze-Chung) are charged with an undercover mission by Inspector Wong (Nat Chan). They are supposed to spy on gangster Sam (Eric Tsang). However, they have to find out that Sam actually isn't involved in any illegal business. Yet, Wong is obsessed to find something against Sam, because he wants to win back his old love, Sam's wife (Candice Yu).
Sam himself has a bunch of other problems to take care of, because Lung Wing-Hau (Jerry Lamb) did take over the business of his recently deceased father, wanting to get rid of the rest of the gangster bosses including Sam. Nonetheless, Sam still has an ace up his sleeve, namely gangster Lau (Raymond Wong), who infiltrated the police as a mole. Nevertheless, this isn't a big help for Sam because the only other subordinates he has are the three undercover policemen, who only seem to be interested in three policewomen they ran into.
Between the different parties a last inevitable showdown takes place.

Review: A comedy about "Infernal Affairs"? Sounds interesting. But who is responsible for the movie? Wong Jing. Well, this can't be good. And right we are...
Without any introduction we are thrown into the movie and already at the beginning there is the first "IA"-homage to be found. It all seems promising, but you just have to wonder why Yan's role as the undercover cop was split into three persons. This all has a/no apparent reason. Because that's the only way to tell a brainless story about three guys who chase after the skirts of some good-looking chicks. This is were the whole film starts to go down the tube. Bad jokes, childish we-chase-after-some-girls scenes and just absolute and utter meaninglessness is what you get here.

Narrative and story-wise the movie proves to be a catastrophe. Every now and then there are some key scenes, that were taken from the "Infernal Affairs" trilogy and to at least give it some credit were shot quite nice. Naturally, there is also the necessary humour. Interestingly enough, it's just these scenes that can actually be funny. Even if Wong Jing did manage not to hit the right notes at some few points. But this would be excusable, if it weren't for the incredible stupid slapstick insertions of thai masseuses, portrayed by our three main protagonists, an alternative way of increasing your bust size, or an awfully silly lie detector scene. This is all accompanied by fast cuts, wacky music (although at least the allusions to the "Infernal Affairs" themes are somewhat nice), some small amounts of random story pieces, which even can't be called that way and there we go: a mess of a movie.

At least it's nice to see that many people of the original cast of the "Infernal Affairs" trilogy returned for this movie. There is Chapman To, of course, who plays Tony Leung's role of Yan, then there is Eric Tsang, who plays his original character again and Shawn Yue is also part of the cast. However, there lies the rub. When "Love is a many stupid Thing" would have been a good comedy and homage, then this would have been all very well. But that's exactly not the case and so you can't fight the feeling that above everyone else Eric Tsang drags the original movie through the mud. Speaking of Tsang I wonder anyway how a serious and good actor as Tsang always ends up in such bad movies as this one.
Apart from Tsang himself there are also some other few persons from Sam's original gang returning on screen, which can cause the recognizing viewer to smile every now and then. Chapman To does give a somewhat solid performance as Yan, but only in the scenes that explicitly are an allusion to the "IA" series. The rest is awful slapstick of the cheapest sort and without any sense at all. The fact that of all people Raymond Wong (!) cuts a fine figure as Lau should be alarming! Not being known for his acting abilities Wong at least manages to imbue his character with the necessary touch of fathomlessness.

The subject had so much potential for some good jokes, but eventually it was all messed up. However, there are a handful of quite funny scenes, e.g. Inspektor Wong's dying scene and the shortly before that inserted John Woo and Bruce Lee homage. Especially, the eye for small details concerning copying the sets of the original "IA"-series is really good and deserves some credit. Yet, apart from that few good working jokes there are hundreds of bad ones, that can even cause physical pain. What the hell did Wong Jing think when making this flick? Most of the time you have the feeling that there is no script at all and the actors were advised to play whatever they wanted. In general the production looks like it had been completed within a week of work, if it wouldn't have been apparent that there was more money flowing into the movie than necessary.

Just because I want to emphasize it once more: "Love is a many stupid Thing" is nonsense in the worst meaning of the word. Wong Jing (once again) manages to expand his ambiguous reputation for the worse. Yet, he still makes movies... Maybe that's because there are actually people who will watch this film. However, my advice is: Avoid it like the plague! If you know the "Infernal Affairs" series there are at least a couple of funny scenes for you, but the numerous bad stopgaps make this movie nearly a torture. That's unfortunate, because this means that there won't be any good "IA" homage in the future. If you want to make fun of a masterpiece like this, then you should at least try to pull off a decent comedy movie. But that's exactly where Wong failed.
Those of you who are still interested in "Love is a many stupid Thing", for whatever reasons, should rent it, if you have the chance. Buying this flick would be an incredible waste of money (buy your girlfriend a bunch of flowers instead) and above all else would encourage people like Wong Jing to continue throwing movies like this on the market...

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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