Do you like slapstick or visual humor? If you do then chances are you like Stephen Chows’s movies. Well, if you like martial arts movies too – you are on this website!
Chow plays Ling Ling Fat, a sworn, elite bodyguard of the Emperor. We’re introduced as he breaks up a fight on the Emperor’s property between some ‘kung fu heroes’. Shining a makeshift flashlight he mixes both the modern street cop and Imperial guard into a nice visual character sending the fighters off to fight another day.
Fat lines up in front of the Emperor with his fellow bodyguards. After an impressive display of martial arts form his peers, Fat performs some pathetic rolls before showing off a handful of inventions.
Disgusted, the Emperor demotes him.
As a doctor (gynaecologist), a meeting is setup by a villain named Faceless. This meeting is to bring all of the Emperor’s doctors out of service temporarily in order to kill him.
They dress the Emperor up like an alien (not the sharpest villains) and he is nearly cut up by the doctors. Then the group is attacked and Fat fights them off with his sharp thinking and inventions.
Fat is then praised and hired to investigate a Concubine for the Emperor, but things get complicated and Fat starts to lust after this concubine despite having a wife. Now he must manage to pull himself out of the mess while Faceless operates behind the curtains planning his next attack.
‘Chinese James Bond’?
This movie plays parody to James Bond quite heavily. The introduction song is a series of silhouettes just like the 60’s Bond films, only with a few stumbles and jokes mixed into everything.
Even the name Ling Ling Fat is Cantonese for “008”!
But Ling Ling Fat is hopeless in a fight unless he has his inventions! He’s about as ordinary a guy as you can imagine, only he likes to tinker and create gadgetry.
He does go undercover in Bond style though, and at the end of the film comes out on top (he is the main character) in pure elite agent style – only with that comedic Stephen Chow touch.
Chow brings his physical and visual comedy to the screen as he does with most of his other movies. The movie starts off setting an excellent comedic pace, but unfortunately hits a few weak points as the story unfolds. Overall though, the movie does play out entertaining enough for me to give it a thumbs up.
The Action & Martial Arts
This movie isn’t really an ‘action movie’, and is more comedy with a few bits and pieces of martial arts choreography and themes.
There’s a bit of wire work and some fights both with swords and empty handed, but it revolves more around the slap stick comedy of Chow.
There isn’t really a ‘lot’ of action at all, forcing me to view as purely a comedy. This isn’t a negative comment on the movie, but rather a more accurate label (in my opinion anyway).
This film isn’t for fans of ‘pure action’, although they would probably enjoy the humor. most people into martial arts movies would appreciate it, it’s a top notch comedy!
On Blu Ray –
Region A (US & Canada)
Forbidden City Cop [Blu-ray]
On DVD –
Region Free (Any Country)
Forbidden City Cop