Comeuppance

An ordinary guy turns vigilante and finds his exploits glorified in a newspaper serial in "Comeuppance," an enjoyable, well-worked out light comedy that just goes on a reel too long.

With:
With: Jordan Chan, Sunny Chan, Patrick Tam, Wu Hsing-kuo, Benny Li, Crystal Lui, Joe Li. (Cantonese dialogue.)

An ordinary guy turns vigilante and finds his exploits glorified in a newspaper serial in “Comeuppance,” an enjoyable, well-worked out light comedy that just goes on a reel too long. Very typical of the playful, neo-gangster genre pioneered by director-producer JohnnieTo with “The Mission,” this reps another solid entry by helmer Derek Chiu, without equaling his best film, the 1994 black comedy “Mr. Sardine.” Film tanked locally late last year but could interest specialized TV buyers.

Sung (Patrick Tam) is an introverted photo lab technician who, on a whim, poisons a triad and his men in a restaurant. Developing a taste for rooting out the city’s evil elements, Sung continues his killing spree, which is soon fictionalized by a journalist, Hak (Jordan Chan, almost unrecognizable in glasses and a baseball hat), in need of inspiration. Fiction and reality become entertainingly intertwined as a cop, Michael (Sunny Chan), and Hak try to save Sung from a vengeful Taiwanese gangster (Wu Hsing-kuo). Film takes a while to establish a rhythm, and becomes a tad repetitive in its second half, but performances are good, jogged along by a catchy score.

Comeuppance

Hong Kong

Production: A China Star Entertainment release of China Star presentation of a Milkyway Image (H.K.) production for One Hundred Years of Film Co. (International sales: China Star, H.K.) Produced by Charles Heung. Executive producer, Johnnie To. Executive in charge of production, Tiffany Chen. Directed by Derek Chiu. Screenplay, Zevia Tong, Chiu, Benny Li; story, Li.

Crew: Camera (color), Tony Cheung; editor, T.L. Yun; music, Chan Sau-pok, Gordon O'Yang, Leung Yiu-pak; art director, Gill Wong. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Forum), Feb. 12, 2001. Running time: 105 MIN.

With: With: Jordan Chan, Sunny Chan, Patrick Tam, Wu Hsing-kuo, Benny Li, Crystal Lui, Joe Li. (Cantonese dialogue.)

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