Ah Kam (1996)

April 30, 2003 • Film, hong kong, Reviews

[director Ann Hui On-Wah]

Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Sammo Hung

In the wake of her comeback in Jackie Chan’s Police Story III, this is a Michelle Yoeh star vehicle. She plays the stuntwoman of the title. And, ironically, Michelle ended up in traction when one of her stunts went bad during the filming of the movie. She spent several weeks in cement as her spine healed.

Lots of actors in Hong Kong like to work with director Ann Hui. She is one of the most respected filmmakers in the Hong Kong movie business. But personally, I find her films a little too sedate, and much too cliched to be really interesting.

Witness Ah Kam. The story begins interestingly enough, with Michelle becoming a stuntwoman and learning the tricks of the trade from real-life veteran stunt-coordinator Sammo Hung. But then things get terribly cliched, as Michelle marries a handsome executive, becomes disenchanted with married life, goes back to stuntwork, and then rescues Sammo’s son when Sammo gets killed by the mob.

There is very little art to the depiction of these events. The dialogue isn’t especially interesting, the acting isn’t very accomplished, and the story is none too exciting. Plus the soap-opera plot elements take anything like reality out of Hui’s hands, leaving this as a nothingy-piece of pulp cinema, much less interesting than the stunt-heavy movies it depicts.


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