Looking for Mr. Perfect
Hong Kong 2003
Directed by Ringo Lam.


John Woo wasn't the only director to leave Hong Kong for the greener pastures of Hollywood. But whereas Woo picked up a Jean Claude Van-Damme picture (HARD TARGET) and used it as a jumping off point to bigger and better things, Ringo Lam has found that springboard out of lift. Instead he labours away on one Van-Damme picture after another (MAXIMUM RISK, REPLICANT, IN HELL). So it is with great hope that a Hong Kong movie fan approaches his occasional return to the city. Allow me to dash that hope quickly.

LOOKING FOR MR. PERFECT was shot in 2001 but sat on for a couple years since it's star, meathead Andy On, already had a box office flop in 2001 (BLACK MASK 2: CITY OF MASKS), and apparently the producers wanted to space these turkeys out a bit. LOOKING FOR MR. PERFECT concerns a tap-dancing criminal (Simon Yam) and his sexy girlfried (Ruby Wong), trying to purloin some sort of secret widget, a part of which accidentally winds up on two girls on vacation in Malaysia (Shu Qi and Isabel Chan). But Shu Qi is a Hong Kong policeman, and she ends up teaming up with her heart-throb, the leaden slab of Andy On, to win the day. Chapman To shows up as a petty thief and as comic relief. Unfortunately, the humor in the film is so poor it is the comedy itself that one needs to be relieved from.

The Malaysian resort locations of the film contribute to a lounge-like, laid back feel for the production as a whole. Everyone is in loose fitting silk, wind-blown and tan, and even the villain just can't stop dancing. While it certainly looks like everyone had a great time making the film, one wishes the audience could have been included a bit more.

There are worse ways to spend time than watching Shu Qi and Simon Yam, strolling (or, in Yam's case, dancing) on the beaches of Malaysia. For example, you could be spending time watching Andy On. LOOKING FOR MR. PERFECT combines a bit of both, mainly to its detriment. At the very least, everyone in the picture is looking good. The only one who doesn't is Ringo Lam. Often described as a perfectionist, I came to the film looking for Mr. Perfect, but he was nowhere to be found.

Rating: Marginally Recommended (Marginally Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on January 04, 2005.


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