Love Undercover (2002) / Comedy-Romance
MPAA Rated: Not rated, but probably PG-13 for violence and adult situations
Running time: 102 min.
Cast: Miriam Yeung, Daniel Wu, Hui Shiu Hung, Raymond Wong, Eileen Cho
Director: Joe Ma
Screenplay: Joe Ma, Chan Wing-Shun
Review published February 24, 2003
Although not the best of films by any stretch, sometimes it's nice to watch a pleasant, light comedy once in a while. For those in that kind of a mood, Love Undercover should fit the bill.
Miriam Yeung (Three...Extremes, Love in a Puff) plays Kuen, a policewoman without much practical skills, working menial jobs to try to find her a niche where she can excel at something. She's a bit of a loner, without any friends or family to speak of, making her the perfect candidate to do some undercover assignments. Her role was simple: pretend to be a waitress and get a microphone close enough to a son of a triad boss, Hoi. Lots of mishaps occur, most notably when Kuen is injured by Hoi's (Wu, 2000 AD) hysterical ex-girlfriend, which brings the two together. Hoi wants to see her again, and her captain wants her to play along to gain more information. Things go a bit awry when Kuen thinks Hoi might be an honorable man after all, and begins to have feelings for him which may compromise her cover.
Although the film does begin to lose much of its steam when it starts getting more serious near the end of the film, for most of the way, it's actually an amusing comedy filled with very likeable performances. Most of the humor is a bit on the broad side, but it's easy to play along for the sake of the comedy. As a romance, it's a mixed bag, because there's good natural chemistry between Wu and Yeung, yet the expressions of love seem a bit forced for the plot's sake. The directing by Joe Ma (Lawyer Lawyer) isn't stellar, but the fine cast cover up most of the amateurishness of the production. About the only thing I would change would be the rather poor choices of music, with its lackluster synthesized soundtrack, adding cheesier coating to an already cheesy story.
If you like Hong Kong comedies, Love Undercover is a decent flick to rent. It's nothing groundbreaking or particularly memorable, but entertaining enough to hold the interest of most.
-- Followed by Love Undercover 2
©2003 Vince Leo