Year of release: 1999

Company: Pro Film Ltd.

Genre: horror comedy

Running time: 97 min.

Director: Wu Jing

Script: Wu Jing, Tang Wen Shan

Producer: Chin Ao Hsin

Cinematography: Kuo Mu-Sheng, Ding Hae-Der

Stars: Wu Jing, Blacky Ko, Jordan Chan, Landy

Rated IIB for language and mild violence

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Despite the cover art and title, Cop is not the hard-boiled crime story you might expect. Rather, it is an extremely goofy movie centered around a school for troubled kids. Cop subscribes to the Wong Jing "kitchen sink" style, and so throws several plots against the wall to see what sticks. The main one concerns a series of "spooky" events happening in the school (which are about as scary as an average episode of "Scooby-Doo", but still the actors run around as if they've just seen Jason Vorhees or a naked and hungry Rosie O'Donnell); the principal hires a trio of bumbling detectives (Wu Jing, Blackie Ko, and some very annoying kid that you instantly want to punch right in the mush) and they're off to crack the case.

The other plots revolve around some of the students and teachers. They include: Jordan Chan (whose voice is dubbed in by someone doing a very bad imitation of him) and Landy (yay, another pretty Hong Kong actress with only one name) breaking up and making up, a duo of Triad wannabes who can't even count (so they can't properly collect protection money), the one good student who has to drop out to support her father's gambling debts, and so on. These plots present Cop's main problem.


Each plot has a different feel to it, and they just don't mesh together very well. It doesn't help matters that the movie is obviously very low-budget, with sub-par camera and editing work. Cop tries to hold things together with a comedic feel running through the movie, but the comedy featured here is that really over-the-top stuff that Hong Kong film-makers seem to think people enjoy. Most of the "jokes" are painfully unfunny -- they are just trying way too hard to be funny and it comes of as horribly fake and dull.

Despite its' faults, there still is a sort of schizophrenic charm to be had with Cop. It is truly one of those movies that would only come from Hong Kong, and is worth a viewing if you're into the goofier stuff. At the very least, you'll have a great time making fun of its' shortcomings -- Cop is definitely "Mystery Science 3000" material.