Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Asia-Pol with Jimmy Wang-Yu

There are two big problems with 1967's Asia-Pol: 1) Jimmy Wang-Yu. Or should I say Jimmy Wang-Yu in a modern setting? Hell, I find his period wuxia films boring so there was not much chance that he was going to have the slight hint of wit necessary to play a James Bondish secret agent.

2) The film is so clearly, so obviously, and so insistently trying to be an Asian version of a Bond film that it becomes a tiny bit distracting. The director, Matsuo Akinori, also did The Lady Professional (1971) with Lily Ho but that film was light on its feet and Lily vastly more appealing than Jimmy Wang-Yu.

Asia-Pol feels like an American TV rip-off of the Bond franchise only transplanted to an Asian setting. There's no wit or style! And, let's be clear about this, I have a hard time sitting through any of the James Bond films all the way through despite the eye candy on display; I'm more likely to enjoy the parodies, like the Matt Helm series, than the real thing.

Anyway, Jimmy Wang-Yu is a Japan-born secret agent/international police officer chasing some guy through Japan and Hong Kong and Macau.

It was at about the halfway mark, when Jimmy was interrogating a Western stripper/secret agent who had sneaked into his room, that I asked myself:

"Why am I reviewing all these Shaw films? This is starting to feel like work!"

Okay, new rule: no more Wang-Yu.

Brian has a short but informative review here.

The DVD is out-of-print but you can Asia-Pol on VCD here or you could just e-mail me and I'd probably sell you mine.