My Father the Hero [1994]

Director: Steve Miner
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Katherine Heigl, Dalton James, Lauren Hutton, Faith Prince
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 90 minutes

Probably only the Hong Kong film industry could have produced this bizarre mixture of head-kicking martial arts action and daddy-and-me sentimentality. Veteran HK action director Cory Yuen (Fong Sai Yuk), who staged Jet Li's fight sequences in Lethal Weapon 4, steers the acrobatic Mainlander through a heart-tugging crime saga about a cop who has gone so far undercover that everyone, including his troubled son, thinks he's actually a bad guy. Pop-singing actress Anita Mui (Rouge) is a policewoman from Hong Kong who befriends and protects the kid until father and son reconcile and team up against the crooks. The action episodes, which were performed without stunt doubles or wires, are eye-popping wonders, and the kid, Tze Miu, is a true prodigy. (Sensitive adults may be horrified by some of junior's more extreme stunt work.) The tough-guy emotionalism is often shamelessly effective. But Yuen is a by-the-numbers journeyman director, and for the most part this a flat, square, unimaginative exercise. --David Chute

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