Also please note: The title of this Hong Kong film is It's A Drink! It's A Bomb! From the Gweilo's perspective, nothing says "Merry Christmas" quite like a movie named "It's A Drink! It's A Bomb!"
Quick! Name some Hollywood Christmas movies! How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, It's A Wonderful Life, White Christmas, Bad Santa, and so on, right? Hollywood has made a ton of Christmas movies over the years, and they all end up being ... well, Hollywood Christmas movies. There are "heartwarming" Christmas movies and "funny" Christmas movies and bland combinations of the two of those. They are cheery and Christmas-y and all, but they are never very surprising.
But then there's David Chung's It's A Drink! It's A Bomb!
|Is it a drink, or a bomb?! Won't someone make a movie so we can find out!??!!|
Like an unwrapped Christmas present, this Hong Kong movie sat unwatched on my shelf for many, many months, full of mystery, possibility, and potential. If the world ever seemed dull, boring, or overly predictable, I could always contemplate the mystery of It's A Drink! It's A Bomb! and feel a little better about things. With this movie unwatched and unexplained, the world wasn't completely devoid of inexplicable wonders.
|Summing up the dilemma of the film|
Let's get the premise out of the way first. There's a guy who's made some cans of soda that are actually hand grenades:
How this will change the field of modern warfare, I'm not sure. Curiously, this movie was made almost 20 years before the TSA rules against bringing liquids on airplanes. Maybe the TSA director is a fan of obscure, corny 1980s Hong Kong movies?
Anyway, this guy is trying to sell his soda-bombs to some evil "Japanese" villains. The "Japanese" villains look exactly like 1980's post-punk, New Wave musicians. In fact:
They get involved in this soda-bomb plot because of a nonsensical motorcycle / car chase:
and because of an equally nonsensical taxi / car / bicycle chase or two.
Ultimately, the trio ends up witnessing the bad guys murder somebody on a nonsensical giant pile of toilet paper in the middle of the woods:
|Nobody is bothered that there is a giant pile of toilet paper here. |
The result of a giant camping-trip-and-chili-cook-off gone horribly wrong?
We'll never know.
Sometimes they are too vague:
|Try again with fewer pronouns.|
|Our heroes, being interviewed at the police station.|
|Yes. Yes they do.|
Actually, this humor is handled pretty well; the who's-on-first style routines are often genuinely funny.
Additionally, because they are so clueless, our heroes often get confused as to who the bad guys are in the movie, and who the good guys are. (The bad guys are easy to spot, but maybe our heroes aren't fans of 80s music?) This leads to awkward situations such as stopping in the middle of a car chase to talk to the people in the other cars, asking them if they are good or bad.
Which reminds me: This movie wins the prize for the silliest car chase scenes I've ever seen. I'm sure you know the normal rule of Hollywood car chases: If a car is chasing someone on foot, the car is never allowed to go faster than that person can run, and the runner is never allowed to go anywhere the car can't follow. David Chung takes this to new levels of silliness in It's A Drink! It's A Bomb! by having car chases so slow that the people can get out of the cars and back into them in the middle of the chase:
|Having fun during a car chase scene|
There's also a bunch of very silly fight scenes as well, sometimes with a holiday theme. For example, while "Lion Head" monkeys around on a Christmas tree, "Cat" figures out a way to defuse a tense stand-off between "Mustache Monkey" and "Japanese Bad Guy":
Or consider this daring escape from a 7-11 (wait for the surprise at the very end):
And of course, nothing captures the Christmas spirit better, Hong Kong movie style, than Santa Claus doing Kung Fu:
|Ho, Ho, Hai-YA!|
Bottom Line of this Chinese Movie Review: