image courtesy of HK Flix
Year of release: 1992
This DVD is available for purchase at www.hkflix.com
Freedom Run Q
Alfred Cheung. Image courtesy of WA.
Freedom Run Q (besides having a pretty stupid title) is really nothing special. In era when Hong Kong film-makers were cranking out quailty action/comedies by the boatload, this movie fails to capture the magic of the better films of the genre. Besides a few glimmers here and there, there's really nothing of interest in Freedom Run Q -- and when it's not boring, Freedom Run Q is outright dopey and sometimes a bit insulting.
The movie centers on two cops (Lawrence Cheng and Alfred Cheung) who are working on seperate drug cases (in the world of badly-translated Hong Kong subtitles, the "big new drug" is called Angel Dust... not very inventive there) who come to work together after they foil each other's undercover operation. Cheung's "crafty" tactic has him dressing in blackface and constantly grabbing his crotch, one of the more tasteless and unfunny "jokes" I have seen in a movie. Someone should have told the film-makers that the year was 1992, not 1892, and that kind of stuff just isn't funny, and can tend to piss a lot of people off.
At any rate, the bumbling cops come to find out that the Angel Dust is being smuggled by a Mainland wushu performing troupe. A young woman from the group (Cat III mainstay Yvonne Yung Hung in one of her first roles) wants to escape to America -- the "Freedom Run" of the title, I guess. But where the hell did that "Q" come from? Anyway, she's carrying a martial arts manual that happens to look exactly like the formula for Angel Dust, and during a transaction, the two get switched, and now Yvonne is a prime suspect. Alfred and Lawrence must now try to get the real formula as well as protecting Yvonne.
Yvonne Yung Hung. Image courtesy of WA.
Freedom Run Q could have been a better movie, but Alfred Cheung and Keith Wong's script relies way too much on convenient coincidences. Most viewers would be willing to forgive shortcomings in the plot if the comedy was up to par, but it just isn't funny. It's the type of stuff that makes you hold your head and groan, as the actors try way too hard to get laughs with material that would seem dumb even on an episode of "Full House". It's this type of lameness which gives Hong Kong comedies a bad name with Westerners.
As for the acting, it fails to build any of the characters, so it's hard to generate any sympathy for them or their predicaments. Lawrence and Alfred are too stupid to be taken credibly as heroes, and the generic acting by the bad guys fails to make a decent villain to root against. Action-wise, the stuff here is good, but then again, Hong Kong has produced a lot better -- and frankly, the action scenes would have to be on the level of something like Hard Boiled to save this movie from mediocrity.
Really, the only bright spot of Freedom Run Q is Yvonne Yung Hung. In contrast to her later softcore porn work, she appears as a spunky girl that kicks ass while keeping her clothes on. If you're a fan of her, then you might want to check out Freedom Run Q. Otherwise, it's best left for those rainy days when you've already exhausted the supply of really good movies at the video store.
Lawrence Cheng (left) and Alfred Cheung. Image courtesy of WA.