Rob-B-Hood


Reviewed by: sukting

February 18, 2010

Rating: three

How long
2 hours

Foreword
This movie brings Shing Long, Hui Gun Mun, Yuen Biao and Tin Lok together. But are they the stars or the baby?

Story
Thongs (Shing Long) and Octopus (Ku Tin Lok) are professional burglars. They are now stealing money and medicine from the safe in a hospital. Thongs is an impulsive gambler while Octopus is a spendthrift. Yet, Octopus can’t stop stealing anything that he sees. Thongs scolds Octopus for stealing low cost pills.

Meanwhile, a baby boy is born to the wealthy Lee family (The father is Lian Kai while the mother is Ying Choi Yee. Surprise, surprise – the grandmother is Yu On On!!) . He is later snatched by Max. He is the baby’s mother, Mun Yee's ex-boyfriend. He wants her to leave with him to marry him. The security guards give chase and trap Max on an escalator.

Max and the baby fall over the side. The baby is saved by Thongs who manages to pull him back but Max dies. Thongs and Octopus escape with the Landlord (Hui Gun Mun) . A few months later, the Landlord finds his savings stolen by burglars. Octopus’s wife, Yin (Choi Cheuk Yin) discovers that she is pregnant but he wants her to abort the baby in Shenzhen so that he can continue to woo other women.

He receives a job to kidnap baby Lee on behalf of a triad boss (Chen Bao Guo), who claims the baby is his grandson. He keeps watching Max’s film clips at home, missing him. Greedy over the HK$7 million reward, Thongs and Octopus accept the job without asking. They only realize that the Landlord is kidnapping a baby after they reach the Lees' mansion.

Thongs intends to return the baby but gives in after the Landlord tells him of his story. Landlord gets the two to leave with the baby when he is arrested for reckless driving. While detained in the cell, the Landlord learns of the baby's identity through the news. He tells Thongs not to hand the baby over to anyone before his release so he can re-negotiate the price.

Thongs’s father (Gu Fung) is furious when the loansharks harrass his family for the debt that Thongs owes them. Thongs and Octopus struggle to take care of the baby. The baby even thinks that Thongs is Mun Yee to suck his nipple. They nearly feed him with adult food and wash him in the washing machine in order to hide him from the Landlord’s mentally unbalanced wife (Teresa Carpio). She has been like this since the death of their baby son. They try to coax him to sleep but to no avail.

They have to learn from a nurse, Melody (Gao Yuan Yuan). She is a student nurse from Peking University and is here for an exchange program. Octopus goes to learn on how pregnant mothers go for stretching exercises. Thongs goes to learn on how to feed the baby. The pregnant mothers from the class surround the baby as Thongs feeds him. They marvel at how cute he is while he doesn’t know how many months he is!

Both men develop a strong bond with him. The two begin to regret their past actions: Thongs stops gambling when the baby watches him at the gambling den. Octopus feels sorry for cheating on his wife to woo other women and also to tell her to abort their baby. He is relieved when she hasn’t listen to him.

Thongs and Octopus enjoy looking after the baby. He smiles at them as Thongs introduces himself as the father while Octopus is the mother. Thongs break down after knowing that his father suffers from a stroke. He regrets his action and the baby holds Thong’s father’s hand to smile at him. (His smile can melt a million hearts as he is so endearing.)

Meanwhile, both the triads and the police are after the baby. Thongs’s ex-classmate, Inspector Mok sees Thongs coming down by stepping on many air-conditioners. He asks him if he is involved in the kidnapping but he denies. The triad boss sends his men to get the baby from Thongs' flat. Thongs’s gambling creditors also arrive. Yin is about to show Octopus the ultrasound scan of their baby but he brushes it away. Inspector Mok also pays them a visit to discover that the two has the baby.

Inspector Mok vows to arrest them after the two get away. Thongs and Octopus try to hide with the baby. They are successful after getting the baby back through a police truck chase. The pram is stuck to the back of the truck driven by two cops (Tse Ting Fung and Ng Yin Zu). The Landlord is told that the triad boss increases his offer to HK$30 million.

He finds Thongs and Octopus at the hospital, where the baby is down due to fever. The Landlord informs the news but the two are more concerned about the baby's health than the cash. Their response is lukewarm. The Landlord gets his wife to carry the baby and she bursts into tears. The two bring the baby to the harbor to share their last moments with him. Octopus wonders how the baby’s future will be.

The two agree to bring the baby to the triad boss' mansion, where they will get the money. Before passing him over, they nag at the gangsters on how to feed the baby. As the men are about to leave with the money, they hear the baby crying for them as blood is taken from his arm through a needle. Thongs and Octopus recall the days they spent with the baby. The baby suddenly calls them father and mother.

Getting emotional, they end up getting into the triad boss'’s private amusement park (this place is meant for Max but now the triad boss is building it for his grandson.) to save the baby while the Landlord leaves with the money. Thongs nearly escapes with the baby after coming down from the ferris wheel, but is forced to surrender when the triads threaten to throw Octopus to his death.

Thongs and Octopus are taken to the triad boss, who insists the baby is his grandson. It is later proven wrong by the blood test 30 minutes later. Driven mad, the boss places the baby in a deep freeze room next to Max's corpse so the baby can be with his son. He locks the two up together after coming out.

Thongs and Octopus fight for the baby but are trapped in the room with two minions. Luckily, Inspector Mok arrives with the Landlord. The Landlord quickly cracks the code on the lock but Thongs still complains that he is too slow. Thongs and Octopus run to the garage with the baby. Thongs tries to revive him with a defibrillator powered by a car battery.

Inspector Mok and the other villains stop their fight upon seeing this. They hope hard that the baby will open his eyes. But the baby does not respond and is sent to hospital. The paramedics (Lam Kar Dong) finds that his heart is beating weakly. The three are imprisoned for kidnapping. Thongs, Octopus and the Landlord carry out a mock capital punishment demonstration during an open day. This is a good chance for them to apologise to their loved ones and their sentence is reduced.

Thongs’s family comes while Yin is heavily pregnant. As for the Landlady, she adopts 10 children from different countries. After the demonstration, Inspector Mok informs them that their sentences have been further reduced by the Department of Justice. Thongs, Octopus, and the Landlord see the baby with his parents and grandmother. They do not blame them as they know that the baby will not survive without them. He still calls the two father and mother affectionately.

They love him so much that they nearly take him into the cell. As a token of appreciation for saving the baby's life, Thongs, Octopus and the Landlord are hired by the Lee family as a bodyguard, chauffeur and head of security respectively. They accept the jobs happily. Thongs asks what the baby’s name is. They are surprised to know that he is Lee Kar Sing. (All of us should know who he is in real life.)

Most favourite character

Who else but the baby!! He is not only adorable but he also strikes a chord in all of us.

Most hated character

The triad boss, he stubbornly believes that the grandson is his to create so much trouble till the truth is uncovered. But we can’t deny his love for Max to make all feel sorry for him.

Interesting facts

The crew could not work for more than 8 hours daily as the baby was involved. Whenever a scene involving the baby was shot, the crew members had to be silent. The baby needed constant napping. As a result, production went over budget. One scene required the baby to suckle Shing Long’s nipple. The baby was initially hesitant, but gave in after the crew brushed a large amount of honey onto the nipple.

Tin Lok was the baby's favorite on set. Whenever the baby cried, Koo was always the first to cheer him up. He found most of the poo scenes gross although he knew that they were chocolates. Shing Long also grew attached to the baby. He sacrificed his rest and meal time to carry him. He could not resist kissing his cute face daily. He said that the baby was very likeable.

The first sight he saw him, the attachment was there. And true enough, the baby clinged to him closely during filming hours. One work staff revealed that there was once, Shing Long’s son, Zu Ming came to visit them. The baby yelled upon seeing Zu Ming. Was it because he was jealous of Zu Ming and voiced his disapproval? No wonder Shing Long doted on him so much!

He regreted missing Zu Ming’s youth days to be with him. He confessed that he was cluless over how to take care of the baby initally. Now he became an expert but even so, he only knew how to get the milk ready and learned if the baby had poo. But he still had trouble changing his diapers. All asked if he wanted another child. He quickly shook his head – he would rather ask Zu Ming to become a father so that he could be a grandfather!

Shing Long had wanted to co-star with Yuen and Hung Kam Bo but Hung was busy with other assignments. It was his dream to work with Hui so he was overjoyed when Hui agreed. This was the first time Shing Long worked with Tin Lok. He praised him for being agile.

Over 100 auditions were held before the suitable baby was found to star in the film. Matthew Medvedev, a one-year old baby was found when an assistant director spotted him with his parents on the MTR. Although his family was only visiting Hong Kong relatives, they agreed to stay and let Matthew appear in the movie as they were great fans of Shiing Long.

His dad is half-Chinese and half-Russian, while his mum is Columbian. Matthew was nominated for Best New Performer in Hong Kong film awards 2007. He became the youngest nominee in Hong Kong film history. Many critics quarrelled over it as they thought he wasn’t acting but others thought that his chemsitry with the actors were genuine and touching. And true indeed, many couples who dislike or have no intention to have children change their minds after watching this movie!

Conclusion

This movie brought wonderful memories as we welcome Yuen Hui’s comeback after so long. Hui does a good job as the veteran thief who is still alert although he is going blind. Yuen is still agile in all his moves. As for Shing Long, it is a breakthrough from his usual good guy roles to see him as an impulsive gambler. Tin Lok only maintains his standard as the Cassonva.

As for Ting Fung and Yin Zu, I don’t see why they are portrayed as homosexuals. That is definitely sick humor. I am also alarmed at how On On is being given a grandmother role. Is she that old although she was only in her 40s then?

Story wise, it offers little attraction. We know that the burglars will be turning a new leaf right from the start under the baby’s influence. But still, who can resist the presence of the baby who is so endearing! The main attraction is Baby Matthew. Only heartless people will reject his presence. He is very enchanting in his smiles and cute looks. He steals the glamour from everyone. Shing Long has made a right choice to cast him as the main lead of the movie. I believe those who watch the movie will feel the same as I do.

Sukting’s ratings :

On acting : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)

On story : *** (Scale of 5)



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