Don't let the fact that this film is about secret agents fool you. It's a comedy. It does contain some action and violence, but not the amount you might be used to from a Hong Kong movie. Having said that, this is still a hugely enjoyable fare, a guilty pleasure if you will.
I'm not sure I would ever have considered watching this film if it wasn't because Shu Qi's in it. First of all the cover makes it look more silly than it really is, and far less intelligent, also the plot description on the back has little to do with the actual plot of the film. Too bad because I think this film could find a bigger audience. The idea to combine silly rom-com with hardcore action scenes and a secret agent story is interesting and works far better than you'd think.
The driving force for the comedy aspects is the confusion that arises because James doesn't realize that the girls are secret agents. One of the best scenes occur when the girls are practicing for their mission while James and his ADs listen in via hidden mikes. Candy is moving through an "Entrapment" like setup, where red string represents laser beams that she's not allowed to touch. Julie is yelling encouragements "spread your legs", "go deeper!", while Candy moans loudly. Meanwhile the boys can hardly contain themselves! As Candy's screaming climaxes the two ADs find themselves in a heated embrace! But James, even though he's now convinced that Julia is a "violent lesbian whore", is still determined to win her over! Though his good faith is somewhat tested when Julia later explains to him how she once took on 10 guys at the same time!
Maybe Shu Qi brings more quality to the film than it really deserves, maybe not, but she certainly gives the only straight performance. Something has to be said for the fact that she manages to make Julia a real person that we can relate to, in the middle of this goofy bunch of characters. And one note on your clothes Shu Qi: For future reference, you can NEVER go wrong if you dress in a black catsuit!
Patrick Tam handles his part very well. How do you woo a woman who can kick anybody's ass, and really doesn't need your help, much less your affection? James' approach, to simply understand and appreciate her situation, is not that far fetched. The scene where James is on the verge of convincing Julia to break free from her job and find a better life is both believable and very touching, at least up till the point where she realizes that he thinks she's a hooker!!
James' two ADs are simply hilarious. They practically have "comic relief" stamped on their forehead, but they still manage to come across original and fresh. Often I found myself rolling around on the floor laughing after one of their stunts.
Tin Sum's Candy is another story. She's quite annoying to begin with, but give her a chance, you might warn up to her. I know I did.
After all how can you not smile watching her get upset when people call her "Busty" (her breasts are slightly larger than the average asian woman, which still doesn't say much), or when she falls asleep as the girls plan the technical aspects of their mission. One distracting thing though; Is it just me, or is her dubbing COMPLETELY off? Does she even speak Cantonese?
Kristy Yang and Sandra Ng have cameos as James' ex-girlfriend and one of Julia's fellow agents, respectively. A nice little touch.
Bottom-line: The film switches comfortably between comedy, drama and action, and the overall feeling is that everybody had fun doing this. My guess is that you'll have fun watching it too.