Review: TOUCH AND GO 一觸即發 (1991) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Review: TOUCH AND GO 一觸即發 (1991)

Sammo Hung plays Fat Goose, a naive but lovable loser who is unfortunate enough to witness a cop being killed one night by a bunch of killers in the back alley while working late at his restaurant. The killers notice him and try to stop him, but Fat Goose apparently knows martial arts to overcome and finally made his escape. Instead of calling the police, he vows to keep quiet until the arrival of the dead cop's partner Pitt (Vincent Wan) forces him to become an eyewitness.

REVIEW: When mentioned the name of Ringo Lam, many viewers and fans remembered him for delivering genre classics such as CITY ON FIRE and PRISON ON FIRE (both released in 1987). But his 1991 feature called TOUCH AND GO (aka POINT OF NO RETURN) is almost non-existent in (everybody's) mind. No doubt this movie arrived with such little fanfare but it's also interesting to check out for -- notably because of an odd team-up between Ringo Lam and Sammo Hung.

When one of the killers nicknamed "God of Hell' (Tommy Wong) tries to kill Fat Goose, Pitt manages to arrest him in an eventual car chase and takes him back to the police station. Even though Fat Goose finally testify against the "God of Hell", the police is unable to hold him any charges and forced to let him go with the help of a highly-influential lawyer named Kam Tse Ping (Lam Chung). Fat Goose is frightened and knows that "God of Hell" will find him and kill him at all cost. However, even without the official police protection, Pitt remains responsible for Fat Goose's safety. As the investigation goes further, the cop who is being killed earlier has something to do with a sex trafficking involving a number of high-ranking VIPs.

The good news is, there are a few numbers of Lam's gritty trademarks here. The action is brutal, intense and violent. Earlier in the movie, there is a well-staged car chase scene worth mentioning for. And there is Noel Quinlan's mesmerising jazz soundtrack that echoes the one heard in CITY OF FIRE.

But the bad news is, TOUCH AND GO feel strangely uneven. This is heavily due to the involvement of Sammo Hung playing the lead here. Apparently mixing a gritty crime drama with an overdose of slapstick comedy doesn't really gel well one after another. While there are still a few amusing moments worthy of chuckles, the comedy elements feel largely awkward.

Still, the overall movie remains fairly entertaining enough as a decent time-killer. As a lovable loser, Sammo Hung is certainly felt at ease playing the kind of role he always is known for. He is likeable enough, even though die-hard fans of his movie will be disappointed by the lack of his trademark martial art performance here. As a relentless cop Pitt, Vincent Wan plays his role reasonably well. As both villains, Tommy Wong and Lam Chung are typically good playing despicable roles.

This awkward yet uneven mix of gritty crime drama and slapstick comedy that doesn't gel well is one of the most forgettable efforts for both Sammo Hung and Ringo Lam.

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