Black Rose II
This new kung fu comedy by Corey Yuen and Jeff Lau (Fong Sai Yuk) proves that Hong Kong is still capable of churning out wonderfully sleazy, cross-generic, gender-bending epics, even in the shadow of China. This one bends so far it practically breaks; even the credit sequence isn't immune, as the superpowerful Black Rose (Nancy Sit), in private-eye drag, screams the names of cast and crew at the audience. Popular HK disc jockey Jan Lamb plays Ah Mo, an endearingly dimwitted delivery boy whose "boss lady" is -- what else? -- a muscular transvestite. The aging, reclusive Black Rose kidnaps Ah Mo, hoping he will fall in love with her. Meanwhile, Ah Mo is infatuated with Tong (Desiree Lam), who's being held hostage by the ultramannish Suen, female leader of a vicious gang of lipsticked slacker-boys. Black Rose II mocks just about every Hong Kong genre, and even strays into James Bond territory with weapons like "Wonderful Killing Electric Pen," collapsing staircases, and characters who peel off their own faces to show a new identity. Sentimental moments are delicately set up only to be skewered -- when Lui (Lam Sheung Yee), one of Black Rose's love-slaves, blows on her tea to cool it, he sprays half the pot in her face. Expect the usual fractured subtitles: "I love people reading things with hearts!" Rounding out this must-see double bill is Joe Ma's wistful romantic comedy First Love Unlimited with HK pop stars Gigi Leung and Daniel Chan.
-- Gary Morris
Black Rose II screens daily at 12:30, 4:15, and 9:45 p.m. (with First Love Unlimited at 2:30 and 6 p.m.) at the World Theater, Broadway & Columbus. Tickets are $6; Call 391-1393.