If the plot was taken seriously, Undercover Punch and Gun could easily be accused of derivative content. The sheer amount of undercover cop narratives in the history of Asian action has made this the case, and Undercover Punch and Gun throws us directly into this exact scenario. It is with variation in tone, and where the film goes with the predictable premise that promises some originality. First of all, despite an emphasis on martial arts action in the storyline, the tone is comedic enough to consider the parodic elements of the narrative. At least to some degree, the derivative elements feed into the humor in this regard.
Though the movie begins with an undercover cop premise, introducing us to Xiao Wu (Philip Ng) as he works his cover in a meth drug ring run by Brother Bao (Suet Lam). First Xiao has to use his skills to stop Brother Bao from killing one of his men, Xia Qiankun (Andy On), who he mistakenly believes to be an undercover cop. Shortly after that, a drug by is interrupted by a motorcycle bandit, which results in a shootout that kills everyone but Xiao and Xia. While I expected the undercover narrative to continue from here, it never really took much precedence in the narrative. Instead, the movie becomes about a rival agency’s efforts to take down a former law enforcement agent who has turned into a smuggler (Vanness Wu) looking to break into the meth game.
There are multiple different law enforcement agencies, undercover cops, and even several criminal organizations, each with their own goals and motives for violence. This can often be difficult to keep up with, and isn’t made much easier by the flippant way the movie presents information. It is clear that the jokes and fight scenes are all the audience is meant to care about. The humor doesn’t always land as well as the punches, but all of it is extremely watchable.
The Blu-ray release includes English-language dubbing for anyone unwilling to read subtitles. The dubbing does not help to take the film seriously, but that may be preferential for some viewers. The only other special feature is a trailer gallery.
Entertainment Value: 6.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 6/10
Historical Significance: 3/10
Special Features: 1/10