Reviewed by: Chi Mei

August 21, 2004

Rating: four-point-five

Director/Producer: Wilson Yip Wai-Shun

Writers: Wilson Yip Wai-Shun, Vincent Kok Tak-Chui

Nicholas Tse Ting-Fung - Tide
Stephen Fung Tak-Lun - Wind
Sam Lee Chan-Sam - Sam
Law Kar-Ying - Paper Chan
Danielle Graham - Danielle
Rain Li Choi-Wah - Rain
Alex Fong Lik-Sun - Water Ghost


Admittedly, I’ve never been a fan of ghost movies or anything remotely connected to something that’s meant to be scary but I just had to watch this movie, considering it starred bad-boy Nicholas Tse, Stephen Fung and one of my favourites, Sam Lee. Well, it wasn’t all that scary, more action-packed and I have to say, I was not at all disappointed by this movie. On the contrary, I liked it a lot and was deeply impressed by the somewhat original gadgets and stuff in the movie, although can I just ask -- does being a ghost hunter mean you have to wear a leather coat or fully black wherever you go?

Nicholas Tse stars as Tide, a ghost hunter who works in a special unit called 2002 -- Tide’s also one of those guys who brings bad luck and death to friends, family and possibly even colleagues, and all because of some black mole on the palm on his hand. Sam Lee cameos as Sam, Tide’s partner in defeating evil ghosts, who’s actually ghost as well -- Sam was accidentally killed by Tide and Tide has never been able to get over it, as Sam was not only his partner, but his best friend. And like all ghosts, Sam has to go and reincarnate and Tide is left without a partner. Well, here’s where Stephen Fung, as Wind, comes in. Stephen too, can see ghosts and wants to be part of 2002 but he doesn’t know anything about the deal that in the 2002-unit, it has to consist of a one-man, one-ghost team. No more, no less, and there definitely has to be a ghost. Tide believed firmly in this as funeral salesman, Paper Chan (Law Kar-Ying) says that its Wind’s fate -- the fact that he is part of the 2002 unit means that he has to die.

Tide becomes better friends with Wind and as this process happens, he becomes increasingly worried and distracted by his fate. Wind and Tide do go on with their ghost-busting duties, where in one instant, Wind was attacked by a ghost (played by Anya) and the ghosts boyfriend, the Water Ghost (a way cool and way powerful ghost played Alex Fong) comes and seeks revenge on the two of them. And entwined between this, there’s a love story between Nicholas and Danielle (Daniell Graham) as well as Wind and Rain (Rain Li). So....how’s this all gonna wrap up?

Like I said before, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, although I had my doubts when I first saw the poster or this movie. It looked like the mediocre teen movie where the only thing merely interesting thing is the stars -- which I admit, I am quite fond of this genre. But anyhow, this is was good, and not only because of great actors such as Nicholas Tse, Stephen Fung, Rain Li, Law Kar-Ying and Alex Fong, but because of the strong plot line and the fascinating weapons and gadgets which were found in abundant collections within this little piece of interesting HK cinema. The contraption I liked most was definitely the gun which makes the ghost visible and causes it to lose 50% of the strength -- and once used, the possessor of the gun had 5 minutes to kill the ghost or else.

The central plot, about the Water Ghost getting revenge and Wind and Tide dealing with being ghost hunters and such was well written, in my opinion. I’ve only seen Alex Fong in the first two chapters of the TV series “Feel 100%” and he was....okay. A little bit above average at the most, but here he shined. Sure, he wasn’t as good as Fung nor Tse, yet he did have his own acting style and he portrayed the Water Ghost as well as anyone could. A memorable performance from him.

But the love stories.....I though it was pretty strange how Wind has such a big crush on Rain and how he could actually go and lie to her that he was her boyfriend. Sure, he was sweet for doing things for her such as putting up curtains around her bed, bringing in plants, even buying a massage chair for her but it was admittedly more than just weird. It didn’t seem to be in Wind’s nature to do that to a girl. Rain Li’s part was pretty small, as Rain, but she did do a good enough job and she and Fung do look cute together. Tide and Danielle’s love story was cute, I liked that one but how the hell could they have hired Danielle Graham to play this role? She was incredibly wooden and tedious and geeze, even I can act better her. Worse yet, she was dubbed. Dubbing always takes out some of the magic in a film. There are plenty of better actresses than Graham but I suppose they had to go for that half-Asian, bunny-face look.

Nicholas Tse was, as always, charismatic and plain cute as Tide. It wasn’t just that he looked cute -- it was his personality and stuff. Like how Danielle once said that she wanted to get this commercial with her in it on tape, but has never been able to, as it was only shown on buses. Tide, being the sweet guy he was, recorded the commercial on his camcorder and gave it to her. I also liked how Tide would observe Danielle but never dared to approach her. But besides this, Tse carries off the bad-boy, ghost hunter dude perfectly. He looked his part and played out the lonely but sweet Tide well and the fight scenes were well carried out. Stephen Fung’s always been a bit of a try hard to me but in this movie, he’s proved that he can act. His portrayal or the dumb but hardworking and willing-to-learn Wind was admittedly, very good, though the way he treated Rain wasn’t, like I said, in his nature. Fung does not yet possess the natural charm that Tse has but he’s getting there and he’s proving to be a better actor than he looks.

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