Saddled with one of the clumsiest (but most oddly intriguing) titles in Hong Kong cinema, ‘Bomb Disposal Officer: Baby Bomb’ is one of those action comedies that used to be produced in plentiful supply during the mid-90s heyday but are now just a memory.
A crazed bomber is setting off devices in different places in the city, his only real target is to cause as much mayhem as possible. As the police try to profile the person who might be responsible, bomb disposal officers John and Peter are commissioned with the task of examining the bomber’s handiwork. While they track the killer down, a new arrival to their shared house causes domestic complications and it looks possible that there may soon be the pitter-patter of tiny feet. Yet the domestic drama and professional stress are destined to entwine when the officers humiliate the bomber on television, causing him to switch his attention to them.
‘Bomb Disposal Officer: Baby Bomb’ is an action comedy, but the emphasis is definitely on the latter. And it’s so heavily stacked in favour of the comedy that the centre of what could have been an intriguing thriller with humorous touches becomes enveloped by it, so much so that it’s easy to forget that storyline regarding the mad bomber. The comedy is hit-and-miss and as it takes up the majority of the running time, it slows the pace right down after a promising start. That’s not to say that there isn’t charm within the film; the pairing of Lau Ching-Wan and Anthony Wong is a winner, and I would have loved to see them in a slightly more organised buddy cop film.
‘Bomb Disposal Officer: Baby Bomb’ has a nostalgic charm for those of us who remember this era in Hong Kong cinema. That inevitably means that the broad humour and uneven pacing will alienate many who do not belong to this group. Nevertheless, it’s a decent ninety minutes of mid-90s Hong Kong cinema, though one can only think of how much better it could have been.