Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Diana Pang Dan in Brother Forever

Brother Forever
Director: Tony Liu

Year: 1999

If this low budget, shot on video film had actually been marketed, I hope the ad campaign would have been something like this. Pang Dan dances, Pang Dan shoots, Pang Dan kung fu’s, Pang Dan showers, Pang Dan bleeds. I’ve seen a bunch of Diana Pang Dan movies but to the best of my recollection I can’t recall her being involved in a full-fledged kung fu fight. I don’t think it will make the highlight reels of anything but it was interesting to watch her try though not nearly as interesting as her completely superfluous wiggle number earlier on.  The director Tony Liu at least realizes why Pang Dan fans come to take a look. It was basically that one minute. Make that two minutes. The shower scene was a nice touch as well. The rest of the film could have been left on a sidewalk and no one would have cared much.

After three years of living in Hong Kong and not making much of a go of it, Song Xiao-hu comes home to Chang-sha on the Mainland to find his mother has died, his old sweet girlfriend,  Wen-ying, is now a singer in a low end nightclub and the triad is trying to kill his friend Sam (Red to Kill’s Ben Ng). Within minutes of arriving Song saves a lady from being robbed and minutes later fends off a bunch of guys at his old home. Of course, like all good Chinese he went to wushu school where he won a few gold medals. It all comes in handy as a fight breaks out fairly frequently throughout the film.

It turns out that Sam had been working for crime kingpin Shi Dong Shan (played by veteran bad guy Jimmy Lung Fong) who is currently enraptured by his mistress, the Lady Macbeth like Long Dang Dang. Pan Dang takes up this role with enough relish to keep a New York Sabrett hot dog cart supplied for years. One of the characters says about her “she is a shrewish but flirtatious woman” not to mention devious and dangerous. But on the other hand she is the kind of boss who gives her underling a fistful of money and tells him “Have fun with a lady”. Some diamonds are missing and Sam has been set up to take the fall unless he and Song can prove his innocence. Clearly, this is not a film that anyone should go out of their way to see. It’s the sort of film where you can plainly see crowds standing around to watch the film being shot or where the reaction shots of everyone in a restaurant are captured for posterity or men dramatically rip off their shirts to fight, but for a little cheapo film they did bring in some talent and the film only slows down from time to time to show women dancing for absolutely no reason and that is not a bad thing. Not to mention that they also include the mandatory shower tease from Pan Dang.

My Rating: 4.5

Viewed on VCD

For your viewing pleasure here is Pang Dan dancing to Neneh Cherry’s Move with Me from her Homebrew album. No doubt the producers received permission!