ContactSales: We Distribution, Hong Kong ([email protected])
Theatrical release: Hong Kong/China, 3 Feb 2011.
Presented by Stellar Mega Films (CN), We Pictures (HK). Produced by We Pictures (HK). Executive producers: Qin Hong, Peter Chan. Producers: Peter Chan, David Chan, Peter Tsi, Jo Jo Hui.
Script: Vincent Kok, Stephen Fung Min-hang, Shu Huan, Chen Xingjun, Chen Jiayi. Photography: Peter Ngor. Editing: Azrael Chung, Shirley Yip. Music: Raymond Wong Ying-wah. Art direction: Cyrus Ho. Design consultation: Yee Chung-man. Costumes: Ben Luk, Akis Lee. Action: Jacky Yeung. Visual effects: Different Digital Design. Script consultation: Liu Yiwei.
Cast: Louis Koo (Ni Huan/Gazer Warrior/Mr. Flint), Sandra Ng (Rouge/Aroma Warrior/Mrs. Flint), Wen Zhang (Zhen Huang/King Kong/Emperor), Edison Wang (Grandmaster Bai Xiaosheng/Grandmaster Blanc), Li Qin (Lan Fenghuang/Blue Phoenix), Zhou Bo (He), Li Jing (real estate agent; doctor), He Yunwei (Evil Ant), Chapman To (drunk), Second Hand Roses (Five Grandmasters), Huang Xiaolan (No. 7), Vincent Kok, Stephen Fung Min-hang (soldiers), Zhang Wei, Wang Wenbo.
Mr. & Mrs. Incredible 神奇俠侶
Costume action comedy
2011, colour, 2.35:1, 100 mins
Directed by Vincent Kok (谷德昭)
By Derek Elley
Mon, 28 February 2011, 22:56 PM (HKT)
Costume tale of two retired super-heroes lacks enough bounce and wit to succeed as a New Year action comedy. Beyond Chinese markets, slim.
Ancient China. In a small town Ni Huan (Louis Koo) and his wife Rouge (Sandra Ng) live quietly; he is the town's head guard, she runs a steamed-bun shop. However, both are in fact incognito super-heroes — Gazer Warrior and Aroma Warrior — who retired 10 years ago after Gazer Warrior had prevented a bank robbery by the Four Big Pests gang and the two met, romanced and married. After buying a beautiful lakeside home out of town, they want to start a family but are told by a doctor (Li Jing) that Rouge has a dangerously slow pulse rate that could imperil her chances of having a child. News then arrives that local clan leader and martial arts grandmaster Bai Xiaosheng (Edison Wang) is to arrange a tournament to rank martial artists in the region. At the same time, Ni Huan meets pretty young Lan Fenghuang (Li Qin), whose family he once helped out a decade ago and who suspects he is actually Gazer Warrior. As the tournament approaches, Rouge becomes jealous of her husband's apparent liking for Lan.
Caught between the demands of a New Year comedy and a super-hero action film, Mr. & Mrs. Incredible 神奇俠侶 (2011) ends up satisfying neither: the comedy is not sustained enough, or broad enough, to inspire real laughs rather than just smiles, and the action is largely crammed into the final 15 minutes with the sudden appearance of a plot and a super-villain. Writer-director Vincent KOK 谷德昭, who had a series of successful collaborations during the '90s with Stephen CHOW 周星馳 (Forbidden City Cop 大內密探零零發 (1996), The God of Cookery 食神 (1996)) has had an up-and-down career ever since, and in lack of a personal signature needs strong collaborators to succeed.
Though producer Peter CHAN 陳可辛 rather than Kok was probably more suited to direct it, there is in fact a nice movie hidden away here which is hinted at in the Chinese title (literally, The Magical Chivalrous Companions): a romantic comedy about two retired super-heroes and their attempt to start a family and a life away from the martial arts world. The first half of the film looks like being this movie, with a barely recognisable (and much more relaxed) Louis KOO 古天樂 partnering nicely with veteran comedienne Sandra NG 吳君如 as a loving couple who are somewhat bored with their lives and decide to have a child. Reining back her rambunctious side, Ng meets Koo halfway in a relationship that's both touching and mischievously amusing. But then an action plot starts to form around the hour mark and the gentle romantic comedy is ditched for action antics.
Supporting performances by a mixed cast that includes young Taiwanese actor Edison WANG 王柏傑 (Winds of September 九降風 (2008), Bodyguards and Assassins 十月圍城 (2009)) as a villain, Mainland rock band Second Hand Roses 二手玫瑰 as martial arts grandmasters, and cute Mainland opera performer LI Qin 李沁 in her first big-screen role are just that — supporting performances to Koo and Ng's. Widescreen photography by veteran Peter NGOR 敖志君 (Chinese Odyssey 2002 天下無雙 (2002), The Fantastic Water Babes 出水芙蓉 (2010)) and the minorities-looking costume design are both characterful and colourful, but at the end of the day the movie is a victim of its script (credited to Kok, Chow collaborator Steven FUNG 馮勉恆, plus three others) which appears to lose its nerve halfway.
Despite its English title, the film has no connection with the 2004 US animated movie The Incredibles, though the film makes references to older Hong Kong super-heroes like Black Rose who were partly inspired by American models.