S.D.U. '97 (1997)

After working with such masters of the martial arts film as Yuen Woo-Ping, Sammo Hung Kam-Bo, and Jackie Chan as Action Director, Cho Wing finally gets an opportunity to direct his own film. Too bad for him that his big chance came from producer/screenwriter Ricky Ng Kwok-Shing and not one of the aforementioned masters.

S. D. U. '97 is one of those bad titles that conjure a certain kind of movie in a consumer's mind. It would be easy to think that a film similar to Gordon Chan Ka-Seung's Option series was in hand. This is not like those films if you are interested in the armory. This low budget production has very few weapons, but good hand-to-hand fights. The emphasis is more on the inter-personal relationship drama that is part of the Option films.

A group of Hong Kong SDU cops are lead on a mission by their new Mainlander leader who gets them in a jam that leads to disciplinary action. Resign or get fired, they are told. There is a bunch of Post-Handover politics at work in the opening sequence. Three months later, they end up running a karaoke bar, getting in more trouble, and taking some soldier of fortune type work to help a millionaire recover his kidnapped daughter.

Director Cho gets a number of good performances from his cast. Yu Rong-Guang, Joe Junior, and Law Kar-Ying bring a level of coolness to the mostly absurd scenario played out by the energetic group of second tier actors that includes Jimmy Wong Ga-Lok, Edmond So Chi-Wai, and Hilary Tsui Ho-Ying.

Copyright © 2007 John Crawford. All rights reserved.