True Colours (1986)

For about as long as Iíve been enjoying Hong Kong films, there has been the phenomena of Raymond Wong Pak-Ming. Heís been popular and successful at the box office with local audiences for numerous reasons that elude me. Heís been involved as a performer, writer, and producer in some of Hong Kongís biggest movie hits. In 1986, had a chance to ďdirectĒ his first film Happy Ghost 3, a ghost comedy franchise he created with filmmaker Clifton Ko, sharing the directing chores with Johnnie To Kei-Fung and Ringo Lam Ling-Tung. Imagine such a thing.

Later that year, he hired up and coming director Kirk Wong Chi-Keung to direct True Colours which he wrote and was producing. He cast himself alongside real movie stars Ti Lung and Brigitte Lin Ching-Hsia to star in a melodramatic morality play about being heroic and living an exemplary life doing the right thing. The scenario is super sappy and director Wong sets the bar high for cornball acting performances. Actor Wong gets to play a bible-toting priest as he did in a number of films. His performance accounts for a number a comedic moments, some quite unintentional. Get there early, so you donít miss the cool 50ís pompadour hairstyle that Mr. Wong wears.

Ti Lung acquits himself nicely despite the material. Ms. Lin, on the other hand, is stiff and clunky in this movie; quite different from the grace and ťlan she displays in her numerous martial arts films. Young actor Gary Lam Jan-Hong does a compelling job as a troubled youth who looks up to Ti while seeking consul from priest Wong. Itís syrupy, sappy and mired in 60ís movie conventions.

Copyright © 2007 John Crawford. All rights reserved.