Undercover Punch And Gun 潜行者 (2019) Review

With a catchy title like Undercover Punch And Gun <潜行者>, one would easily expect this has to be a fun HK action movie. Even the trailer itself looks like a nostalgia-heavy throwback to the 90s HK action genre filled with a genre mishmash of martial arts, comedy and drama.

But first, here’s the brief synopsis: When a drug deal goes awry that resulted in the death of a triad leader played by Lam Suet, undercover cop King Wu (Philip Ng) decided to investigate further. From there, he finds out about the ruthless drug dealer Ha (Andy On) and looking to bring his whole organisation down with the help of a special forces member Eva (Feng Wen Juan) and informant Tiger (Van Ness Wu).

Originally shot back in 2015, it took four years before Undercover Punch And Gun <潜行者> finally saw the light of day. The result is nothing more than a wannabe mess of a 90s-style HK action movie. Believe it or not, it took seven screenwriters — Yang Zhi, Huang Huihui, Li Yinsheng, Link Ling, Chucky Kom as well as Frankie Tam and Philip Lui — to come up with a screenplay that is neither dramatic nor funny. Everything here is as sketchy and perfunctory as it gets, with the actors basically going through the motions from one scene to another. So, if you are looking for some decent characters development, you won’t find it here in this movie.

Forget about acting either, as evidently seen in Philip Ng’s typically wooden lead performance and Van Ness’s painfully annoying comic-relief role. The least positive thing about the acting department is some of the screen veterans’ cameo appearances played by Nicholas Tse and Carrie Ng.

Still, Undercover Punch And Gun <潜行者> remains fairly entertaining if you are here solely to see the likes of Philip Ng and Andy On kicking asses. For that alone, it delivers, thanks to Philip Ng’s impressive fight choreography and Azrael Chung’s crisp editing. There are few exciting set-pieces worth mentioning here, which includes the elaborate opening fight scene as well as a climactic one-on-one showdown involving Philip Ng, Andy On, Van Ness Wu and Aaron Aziz in separate occasions.


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