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   Now in our eleventh calendar year
    PCR #558  (Vol. 11, No. 49)  This edition is for the week of November 29--December 5, 2010.

"Holiday Movie Preview" by Mike Smith
DVD Review: Gamera vs. Everybody by ED Tucker
Rock n'Roll Cop (1994) by Jason Fetters
Ronnie .... Class Of 2011 .... Passing On .... Him Too .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf by Mike Smith

Rock n'Roll Cop (1994)

Anthony Wong plays Inspector Hung, aka, the Rock n' Roll Cop in this high charged HK action drama in the John Woo vein of violence and guns.

In the beginning of Rock n' Roll Cop, Inspector Hung is in Hong Kong outside at a street market selling vinyl records to shoppers. While discussing Deep Purple with a customer, a robbery is going on at a nearby bank. When things get out of hand and the robbers open fire on bank customers, Hung must wheel his cart of vinyl out of the street and chase the bad guys. During all the commotion, Hung's cart gets overturned and his precious albums are no more.

Perturbed but not defeated, Hung gets in the action as a gangster's girlfriend is singing karaoke in a bar. Hung borrows a camera from a bar patron and when the mob boss demands pictures taken with his girlfriend, Hung snaps away. However luck is not with the good inspector as gangsters advance on Hung with many guns sticking right in his face. Managing to get away, he finds the boss's girlfriend in a nearby apartment complex and slaps her senseless in front of her own mother. Then he takes her to jail and gets in the cell with her for more face slapping. This is only one side of Inspector Hung. Later in the movie he apologizes to the girl for being so rough and even plays guitar while she sings. She is one of the few women in Rock n'Roll Cop who is not a prostitute. She tells Inspector Hung, I'm a singer not a hooker.

Inspector Hung is sent to Sichuan aka Szechuan (famous for Szechuan cuisine) to hunt down the gang responsible for the bank robbery. There seems to be quite a lot of prostitutes in Sichuan because in one scene one cop says that 60 have recently been arrested. That beats out Nebraska Ave even after a sting.

As in every cop movie, Hung argues with his superiors, chases gangsters, and engages in some serious gunfights. However, Hung has one thing that the others don't. He is tough just like rock n'roll. I haven't really seen rock music worked into a tough cop movie before. That is what makes Hung such an interesting character when compared to one-dimensional tough guys that become boring all too quickly Rock n'Roll Cop was made during the per-take over years, and director Kirk Wong makes good use of the tension between Mainlanders and Hong Kong residents, especially during the final scene. One of the main gangsters has just been captured. He even shot and killed Captain Wong Kun's girlfriend. So to help out his boss, Inspector Hung must take the gangster back into Hong Kong. Things go well at the fenced in gate that divides HK from China, until the gangster's boys show up, hiding under SUV's and rolling around in the street to jump into action. Hung gets taken hostage and is repeatedly beaten by the gangster. At one point the gangster tells Hung, I don't want to kill you, I just want to torture you, as Hung's face gets slammed into thorn bushes while be dragged along.

During the ending there is a stylish gunfight that looks better than anything ever done by John Woo. Cops rolling around in the dirt shooting at gangsters who are trying to evade and shoot back, makes for a very effective and highly entertaining action sequence.

The only problem I had was that sometimes the pacing was slow. After the characters were developed, towards the middle of Rock n'Roll Cop, the movie really dragged until the next action scene kicked into gear. Still, this is a entertaining action drama cop movie with an interesting twist a la Chinese Rock music.

4 out of 5 Stars.

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