Directed by Patrick Leung
Written by Hing-Ka Chan
Cast:Leo Ku,Karen Mok,Eric Tsang,Waise Lee,Edmond So, Allen Moo and Charlie Yeung
A mild-mannered plain clothes cop falls in love with a cheeky but endearing prostitute. Things become complicated when her deadly boyfriend returns.
On face value, Task Force is an odd mishmash of conflicting elements: wacky comedy and melodrama. Yet, Task Force succeeds in both arenas. The simplest reason behind this peculiar success is both the comedy and the melodrama is used for character building. The entire narrative is an exercise in character building. That’s what puts it above similar comedy films. The character building is so good that the lack of a clear plot is hardly distracting. The random skits are great at revealing more insights about the character. Like Lulu’s skirt chasing antics isn’t just a ploy for sex jokes, but to reveal how Lulu’s weakness cost him his marriage.
Ron is a main character that has less bravado than a typical Hong Kong action hero, but this works in Ron’s favor since it gives him more humanity. Ron’s narrations strive to give all of the events a rather introspective focus. We get a clear indication of how all of the events affect him. While narrations do spell things out too clearly for the audience, I felt it necessary to keep the narrative from getting overburdened by its innate wackiness.
Fanny Chan easily could have been annoying. However, a rightful amount of wit and pluckiness make her quite endearing. Fanny is the typical hooker with a heart of gold, but she seems so right at home in this movie that she leaves an impression on you.
Shirley’s struggles look inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. But, upon a closer view, it allows Ron to delve into some needed self-reflection.
Task Force lampoons John Woo’s tropes while being an affectionate parody. They even manage to cast John Woo himself in a small cameo. Task Force knows its audience expects it to become an overblown action film at any moment. But, Task Force either stays as an affectionate parody or hyper-realistic during its action scenes. And, Ron’s arguably most heroic action is a non-violent one. It’s small touches like these that help differentiates Task Force from other cop dramas.
Task Force is a cop drama that never ceases to be wacky fun while never compromising its tenderness.