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The Blacksheep Affair (HK 1998)

Director : Allun Lam
Cast : Man Cheuk Chiu (Vincent Zhao), Qi Shu, Ken Wong, Hoi Lin, Xin Xin Xiong, Andrew Lin and Jude Poyer.

Synopsis
A patriotic Chinese cop is reposted to fictional East European country Lavernia as punishment for ignoring orders during a plane hijack operation

Review
by Edward Tang

I know that action films are not suppose to be well told stories with intriguing characters. I know that the story can be summarized on a poster, and that will satisfy most fans like me. In Blacksheep Affair, you more or less don’t have a clue what is happening on the screen, with some weird ass plot about some made up place, and a Messiah. Yes throughout this film, we learn of a disgraced dude named Dong, who goes to Lavernia and joins up with the Chinese embassy.


Okay, so far I get what is happening. So waiting for someone to pick him up from the train station, he runs across this guy named Mishima and takes him out after he just had killed a few people. It turns out that Mishima is actually a terrorist of some kind, one that is wanted in Japan. Okay, I’m still with the story and I’m kind of getting into it. But then some explanation about “refugees” and the notion that this Mishima believes he is the Messiah, and he is on this Earth to follow God. Now I’m lost. But thankfully, like most throwaway action flicks from the good ol’ HK, it delivers some great entertainment, from your quick action sequences and some entertaining cheesy bouts in the fighting realm.

It was renamed “Another Meltdown” for its American release. Yes, and if you have some knowledge of how we butcher films, you might recall that the 1995 Jet Li film (High Risk) was renamed “Meltdown.” First off, I didn’t realize that Meltdown was that big of a hit to warrant a film that doesn’t have anything to do with it, into its “sequel” so to speak. Then to look again, Andrew Lin’s face is on the cover, which doesn’t make a dick of a sense. The main character of this film is Man Cheuk Chiu, and I don’t really know why Lin got the billing over Chiu, because guess what? Nobody here even knows who Andrew Lin is!

Man Cheuk Chiu is the main character and does a fairly good job. I mean if you check the acting sheets, he fails, but as the no-bullshit hero, he is pretty good on wires, and shooting about 100 bullets with a gun that could probably only hold about 35. Well done on that aspect, by the way. Shu Qi is the eye candy in this flick, but they basically hold her role down to a crying and getting destroyed by a machine gun part. What a waste for such a good looking girl like that, one I wouldn’t mind to take over to the Edward Tang palace and let her enjoy the very fruits of my loin. Well, then you’ve got the bad guy, Mr. Messiah. Once again, he was too corny to play a serious bad guy, I laughed anytime he was on the screen, especially his wide-eyed death. Kenneth Tsang (The Killer) plays somewhat of a traitor to the good guys, a guy whom always pops up and does something. Oh boy, probably the most horrible white guy actors were casted in this film, and you can’t hate a bad guy if you are laughing, can you?

So throughout all of this, the nature of a flick of this is to give us something that can be worthy of the view. I must say that this film gives you some cheaply done wire work, but still can give you something of an entertainment. There’s a scene in general that has the guards transporting the Messiah to the Japanese. During this, a bunch of guys with rocket launchers fire about 10 rockets and miss the truck, of course. This scene wasn’t only crappy, it just annoyed the hell out of me, for the point that it didn’t flow easily on the screen, and looked choppy. Then you have your typically idiotic gun fight scenes, that showcase a bunch of gunfire, and somehow the good guys still survive and are barely scratched. There’s even a scene that shows a guy swinging on a strap, and the guys can’t even shoot the bastard. But never fear, there is a scene between Dong and Mishima in their final duel, which delivers a bunch of fast action, sped-up punches and a little bit of sword fighting. Now
this was a fun fight, maybe not in the top 5, but easily one that had you smiling. But the ending did little to catch me, as Shu Qi dies (she doesn’t even die in a bikini or a wet t-shirt) and then Dong spreads her ashes into the ocean, in a very sappy scene.

So students of film might not find this film to be anything but a visual flop of kinetic flashy material, consisting of a society dominated by the pressure of immigrants and the horrid morality of constant attacks and ruthless killers. Everything falls into balance, and this film is pretty bad, but can be redeemed by what I like to call the “bood factor.” Where a film is so bad, it’s good and entertaining to watch. There isn’t anything special you could catch, and you probably will loose yourself in whatever plot they tried to smack me in the face with, but I had a good time. For this being a “sequel” to High Risk, I did like this better than the Jet Li one, so take that for what it is.

Rating
Plot : 2/5
Acting : 3/5
Entertainment : 2/5
Overall : 2/5

Notable Scenes
- The final fight between Dong and Mishima

Buy this movie at YesAsia – The Blacksheep Affair

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