Jet Li makes another rare appearance on screen for ‘Badges of Fury’, an action comedy from director Wong Tsz-Ming. Li plays cop Huang Fei Hong who, along with his accident prone partner (Zhang) and young superior (Chen) is assigned to find out who is behind a series of bizarre murders that leaves victims with a smile on their face. The evidence points to two chalk-and-cheese sisters whose sibling rivalry could be laying waste to a good portion of the male population.
It took every ounce of my inner strength to hold back the tide of splenetic juices that bubbled within me as I wrote the synopsis, so desperate was I to forego the boring exposition and accomplish my humanitarian work of highlighting what a putrid wedge of crud this is. ‘Badges of Fury’ is the most witless, inane and utterly charmless experience of recent years (and I’ve seen ‘I Love Wing Chun’ so I consider myself an authority on this), a festering aneurysm on the pulsating brain of film.
‘Badges of Fury’ cannot decide whether it is merely an abysmal spoof of cop films, an action comedy or a gaudy pantomime that bestows us plebs with a small sight of the beautiful glitterati (every adoring shot of the admittedly gorgeous Liu Shi-Shi and Ada Liu is filmed with the reverence that Michelangelo must have had towards the Sistine Chapel) – it fails at all three in a catastrophic way. Every joke is ‘enhanced’ by moronic sound effects that end up working on the viewer in a twisted version of Pavlov’s Dogs, causing bile to emanate from the slackened jaw of the unfortunate watcher after every use. Two short moments of action between Jet Li and Collin Chou/Wu Jing give gentle reminders of what have been only to then descend into egregious wirework.
This film is a low point in Chinese cinema.