Hidden Heroes
Hong Kong 2004
Directed by Joe Ma and Soi Cheang.


Ronald Cheung is a cowardly cop, faithless to his Japanese girlfriend, and an all around loser. Then a robot from the future shows up (Charlene Choi), tasked with making sure the future happens as planned. She has to keep him alive until August 15, at which point she must ensure his death. Meanwhile he runs afoul of a crooked cop (Raymond Wong Ho-Yin, wearing a dastardly moustache), who frames him for the murder of a police officer. On the run from both the police and the robot, he runs into Mei Ling, the real girl the robots were designed to look like (also played by Charlene Choi), who works as a passport forger in Chungking Mansions. Overlong and overcomplicated, with just a handful of decent laughs. HIDDEN HEROES was co-directed by one of my favorite directors, Soi Cheang, and one of my least favorite, Joe Ma. The end result is regrettably 90% Joe Ma (he contributed to the screenplay, too, which doesn't help). A few scenes, especially an historical montage at the end, are shot with great style, but they are exceptions. Qin Hailu costars in her most disposable role yet, and Tats Lau appears in a tutu. The best cameo is old Yuen Wah as Cheung's father-in-law. Charlene Choi, meanwhile, performs well in both her roles, very funny as the killer robot, sassy as usual as the human girl. I thought I was really going to enjoy HIDDEN HEROES at first, but it gets boring pretty quickly despite (or perhaps because) how aggressively busy the script is.

Rating: Not Recommended (Not Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on January 21, 2005.


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