review by Neo

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Director Dante Lam is certainly one of the most uncertain and unpredictable director around the HK cinema area - well guess what that is not a compliment. Let me explain now, Lam has directed great, intense movies such as Beast Cops which has critical success without boxoffice success, but then again, surprising last year critical panned - Twins Effect was the biggest box office draw last year - alright it wasn't bad, especially as a Twins fans perspective here - it was what you call, mindless fun. Then this year, Lam direct a critically panned film and also what is most likely greatest box office failure which failed to crack the 2 million HK mark. Guess what, yeah you already know what film I am talking about - Heat Team. Starring the re-birth of Aaron Kwok (Throw Down), ever improving actor - Eason Chan (Love Battlefield) and the biggest draw of all, the screen debut of Yumiko Cheng! For those who do not know who Yumiko is, I will tell you my story. Well she did came to Australia last year as a special guest at the Eason Sydney Concert! And I was (proudly) the one who started saying 'Yumiko, Yumiko' and soon everyone started shouting it. Yeah, her dance is sexy, though her singing is not my taste, but geez, love the way she dance. Alright, I know, I am getting off topic again, geez, I kept doing that, well, that's my style so bear with it! Okay, let's get back to the movie - Heat Team, good or not? Well, my answer is no it is one of the most plotless movie that attempts to look serious.... well I don't think so. Okay, the bottom line is the first half looks promising with good action sequences (guns is what I mean, and yup, you are right, some John Woo, wanna-be style!) and looking like a good thriller, then came the second half, geez, you can so tell that director Lam is clearly out of ideas and it is just utterly stupid. Seriously if not for the likable stars, I will probably have fall asleep. However, if you ignore the stupidity of the movie, thinking that movie goers can be 'cheated' by wow of 'coolness' in the camera angles, then they are wrong, but fun can be had, if you don't take it seriously - what I call - mindless entertainment.

The so called 'plot' (if it even has one) goes like this Ting (Aaron Kwok) and Chong (Eason Chan) are two excellent cops, who are smart and good at gun shots. Chief Inspector Cheung sends them to fight against the criminal Ken (Dave Wong), who is going to robber a priceless diamond necklace. During the investigation process, they have several arguments with their senior Inspector Bobo (Yumiko Cheng). Yeah, cheesy, I know, but then again, who say it is serious, when Lam in the beginning had Eason shot on his bottom with a bullet. Well, you get the idea!

Here, as to the performances, Aaron Kwok is back to his China Strike Force self and a word of advice Aaron, loosen up a bit la! Let's compare Eason Chan with Aaron Kwok. If I have to say which one is a better actor, I will without even thinking Eason is by far the better one, sure Aaron has the screen presence, but Eason has more range and switches to comedy pretty well. Well, if you really have to compare their singing career, well this is probably personal taste, I reckon even Eason singing better! That's not to say, Aaron can't act, of cos he can, he even show some glimpses of potential in Throw Down, but here, he is back to what he was - an expressionless actor. Hopefully, there aren't any Aaron's fans reading, or else, I will probably be attacked by emails, saying that I am wrong in condemning Aaron, well, any wayz, that was just my honest opinion on Aaron Kwok. As to the performance, that all those Yumiko's fans are waiting for, well my two cents on it is that - Yup she passes the test, but the bad news is she just passed. She played her almost non-existent role, pretty adequately with shinning out or showing any form of potential, let's hope she will appear in a better material to show if she does have any acting talents. However, the highlight performance is the bad guys' girl, if you know what her name is sent me a email. Her role allows her to show some range and she did perform in a way that showed some very good potential. Dave Wong's villianious role, well, no need to comment, just too two-dimensional.

Overall, Heat Team is pretty well directed overall in terms of coolness and style, but Lam is wasting his talent on such stupid scripts, that ruins any potential that it may have. Yes the action sequence is energetic, but with this budget and producing this quality of almost right on par with stupidity, it is a waste of money and it is proven by it being a dud in the Boxoffice. However, ignoring the flaws and stupid script, fun can be had if you done take it seriously, along with likable performances in Aaron, Eason and Yumiko, so my advise is, watch it if you are fans of any of the three big names, if not, watch Moving Targets instead, but then again, this is what I call - totally - mindless fun!

I rate it 6/10

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Product Title : Heat Team
Artist Name(s) : Eason Chan| Aaron Kwok| Yumiko Cheng| Dave Wong
Language : Mandarin|Cantonese
Duration : 96 minutes
Reviewed by Neo (Andrew) - July 2004