Legend of a Professional (2001)

Rating: D-

Dir: Billy Chan
Star: Anthony Wong, Josie Ho, Helena Law, Law Koon-Lan

Concealed behind perhaps the most wildly inaccurate blurb in DVD history (Triads? Police? Prison?) is this lacklustre effort which takes the best part of an hour to get started, and is largely confused throughout. Wong plays a hitman who needs a girlfriend because his mother is going to visit. He hires Ho to play the part, and she eventually ends up becoming his partner. Then a witness from the past comes back to haunt him (don’t they always?). The story leaps back and forth without bothering to explain anything; leaving the viewer flailing wildly around to make sense of it all. There is potential in concepts such as an assassin sneaking out to carry out hits while his mother watches TV, yet it’s largely frittered away.

While Wong is his usual snarly self, he seems to be doing little more than going through the motions. Most of the blame for this, and the movie’s other shortcomings, should be laid at the door of director Chan, who seems to have no idea in what order things should happen, or how to handle them in an interesting fashion. It it a comedy? It’s not funny. A romance? It’s unengaging. Action film? Remarkably tedious. While it does want to be in the same mould as Leon, it’s inferior in just about every way. And despite occasional ideas of interest, “mould-y” seems a disappointingly appropriate term.