From Beijing With Love

Hong Kong comedy star Stephen Chow spoofs the James Bond formula in this uneven 1994 feature. A priceless dinosaur skull is stolen from the Chinese mainland by a brutal Hong Kong gang, and Chow, a retired agent working as a pork vendor, is dispatched to recover it. From the opening credits to the curtain-closing romp with a Bond girl, the genre elements are mined for sophomoric gags, but the funniest sequences—in which the hero evades assassin Anita Yuen and outmaneuvers a Chinese execution squad—reveal that he's not as dumb as he looks. One shoot-out in a shopping mall, which finds Chow putting knives to ingenious use, is as thrilling as anything devised by John Woo. Chow and Lee Lik-chi directed; in Cantonese with subtitles. 100 min.

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