End of the Stumer, The
Hong Kong 2004
Directed by Cheung Kin Wah.

What the hell is a Stumer? Did they mean the End of the Summer? The Stunner? The Stoner? The Stammerer? No, turns out they really sort of mean "The Stumer," defined as a forgery or I suppose a forger. This is a movie about Sergeant Wang (Kent Cheng) and his efforts to bring counterfeiter Li Ze Ming (Lin Wai Kin) to justice. His end, then, is THE END OF THE STUMER. Note to Hong Kong filmmakers: While the standard creation of an English language title for each movie is extremely helpful, it would be even more so if you pick English words that people who speak English actually understand. Thank you.

I've become a great fan of Kent Cheng over the years, the overweight, unattractive actor supplying color to a supporting role or even occasionally carrying a movie on the strength of his performance. He is mostly a TV actor these days but every once and a while appears in a low budget feature. Here he plays Sergeant Wang, a principled and dedicated cop. And while his performance is very good, as usual, the movie itself leaves much to be desired.

The stumer -- no, I can't use the word, sorry -- totes around the all important widget that everyone wants, in this case a perfect print master for $100 dollar bills. He is a mean bastard who falls for Sergeant Wang's sister-in-law at a night club that she happens to manage. Wang, meanwhile, is trying to raise a son on his own, since his wife (Cecilia Yip) passed away. Eventually the whole family is entangled in the case. A freshfaced young cop is brought in to take over the case, but for his part he consults Wang on everything anyway and is dating his sister-in-law.

Whole sections of the movie seem to be repeated, poorly edited, or just redundant, especially scenes in which Wang's sister-in-law berates him for his poor parental judgement. The constant personal interplay between the police and the criminal seems unnecessary. And the action scenes look OK at first but get really poor by the end. Kent Cheng, by far the best thing this film has going for it, is not on screen nearly enough and in fact is absent during the entire conclusion, which is much more boring because of it. On the plus side, Cheng is quite good, and his son is threatened by a blowtorch to the face. Cecilia Yip appears only in flashbacks.

Rating: Not Recommended (Not Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on February 14, 2005.


A 'stumer' is British slang:



Posted by: Paul Cotton at August 14, 2007 01:41 AM
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