Gun ‘n Rose 1992 Review: Effective over-the-top action surrounded by tiresome comedy

Effective over-the-top action surrounded by tiresome comedy and standard gangster flick clichés.

Ace action director Clarence Fok (Naked Killer) directed this gangland actioner featuring two of the four Sky Kings and enough action to satiate the fanboys. However, there really isn’t much else to the movie.

Heavyset actor-producer Alan Tang is Alan, the adopted son of a Taiwan triad family. Alan comes under fire when he’s clearly favored by Dad, the big boss of the organization. When Dad is shot, Alan blames third son Bowie (Bowie Lam), which encourages Bowie to make an attempt on Alan’s life. Alan survives, and as punishment Dad decides to off his own son Bowie. This ticks off second son Simon (Simon Yam). And Alan must go into hiding lest he be killed by Simon’s pet assassin (Leon Lai or Le Minh).

Alan flees to HK where the film takes a completely wacky turn and chronicles the exploits of a lowly hood (Andy Lau) and his adventures with best girl Loletta Lee and horny sister Carrie Ng. Alan is hiding with crippled wife Monica Chan, but he gets dragged back into the triad life by Andy’s incessant activities and the reappearance of Leon. Then Alan returns to Taiwan for the final showdown with Simon.

The action is totally over-the-top, but effective in that acrobatic blazing guns style. Sadly, the acting leaves a lot to be desired. Leon Lai is blandly intense, Simon Yam wasted, and Andy Lau (Luu Duc Hoa) annoying to an incredible fault. This is Lau in smarmy mode, where he attempts a Chow Yun-Fat type of charisma. But usually comes off as bothersome.

Even more out of place is Alan Tang, who uses an army of stunt doubles to achieve dizzying action stunts. When he clearly can’t jump two feet off the ground. Since he’s also the producer of the film, Gun ‘n Rose (Long Dang Tu Hai) ultimately feels like a well-staged vanity project for Tang. Standard triad clichés abound, and aside from the action, very little is left to compensate. Also, the middle section of the film is tiresome. With too much lousy comedy and wacky hijinks that grate on the viewer. There’s a definite fan base for this flick, but I am not a part of it.

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