Curry and Pepper (1990)

curryandpepper

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Take a Hong Kong comedy king and a Hong Kong “heavenly” king and have them play cops. Sounds like a good idea, but in this case, it’s a middle of the road film.

Curry and Pepper are the worst members of the CID department of the Hong Kong police force. They spend their time looking for people they have arrested in the past and seeing if they have lived up to their promise and gone straight. However, to keep their status, they would re-arrest those they have caught in the past. When their superior Inspector Chow has had enough of the duo’s antics, they find themselves about to get lucky when they are chosen for a TV special for eye candy reporter Mimi Luo.

Mimi soon becomes wooed by Pepper but she finds herself having a crush on Curry, who reciprocates her feelings and the two secretly begin dating. Meanwhile, the duo find themselves in seriously hot water when they blow an undercover operation with suspected arms dealer Dog, who is actually an undercover cop. Dog eventually is killed by an assassin who learns of his true identity. When Pepper learns of the relationship between Curry and Mimi, the partners separate but soon learn their informant has been killed by the same assassin who killed Dog. Will they get over their issues and unite again to take down the assassin?

In 1990, Stephen Chow was preparing himself to become Hong Kong’s comedy king. With the successful All for the Winner breaking him out, Chow was ready to take on anything he can get his hands on. For this film, he is paired with pop star/actor Jacky Cheung, just a few short months after Cheung unleashed a heck of a role in John Woo’s Bullet in the Head. Thankfully, it is their chemistry as the titular duo that saves the film as the film as a whole tends to drag now and again.

Ann Bridgewater plays the woman of the duo’s affections that causes a love triangle. While Pepper attempts and unsuccessfully woos Mimi, he is clearly upset upon learning that his own partner has been dating her. Barry Wong gets to start his typecast role playing superintendents to Chow in some of his films with this role. While Wong would get to present more comic fashion with roles in Chow’s Fight Back to School and God of Gamblers III: Back to Shanghai, it is great to see Wong tackle this role first here.

So where did the film go wrong? The story tends to drag at times. James Yuen’s screenplay overdoses more on the comedy and drama and less on the action itself and it tends to make the film a bit boring in certain spots. However, the beats of action that do occur are not completely bad at all. A small fun fight scene involves the duo getting beaten up by the duo of Bruce Fontaine and Deborah Grant. However, the big bad is played by the late Blacky Ko (who also directed and choreographed the film’s action), who plays a deadly silent assassin who takes out an undercover cop and then the informant of our heroes.

Curry and Pepper is not a bad film, but it’s not a great film either. Despite the chemistry between Jacky Cheung and Stephen Chow being the driving force, the overall story has some draggy moments and unless you like both stars, chances are you may end up getting bored with this one.

WFG RATING: C

Newport Entertainment Co. Ltd. Presents a Movie Impact Ltd. Production. Director: Blacky Ko. Producer: Blacky Ko. Writer: James Yuen. Cinematography: Andrew Lau. Editing: Chan Ki-Hop.

Cast: Jacky Cheung, Stephen Chow, Ann Bridgewater, Eric Tsang, Barry Wong, Chow Mei-Yan, Blacky Ko, John Shum, Michael Dinga, Billy Ching, Fung Yuen-Chi.

 

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