Forbidden City Cop (1996) 720p

Movie Poster
Forbidden City Cop (1996) - Movie Poster
Action | Comedy
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Chinese 2.0  
Run Time:
89 min
IMDB Rating:
7 / 10 
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Directors: Stephen Chow [Director] ,

Movie Description:
Set in Imperial China, Stephen Chiau plays Fat, a guard in the Forbidden City. But unlike his colleagues he doesn't know anything about Kung Fu or other martial-arts, because he uses his time to make futuristic inventions. So when the emperor is kidnapped and the world most beautiful geisha comes to town Fat has to use his brain to get things done.


  • Forbidden City Cop (1996) - Movie Scene 1
  • Forbidden City Cop (1996) - Movie Scene 2
  • Forbidden City Cop (1996) - Movie Scene 1

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Comedy, action, drama and mystery made fun...

Well, if you are familiar with Stephen Chow, then you should definitely watch "Forbidden City Cop" (aka "Daai laap mat taam Ling Ling Fat") from 1996. Now, with my interest in Hong Kong cinema, I oddly enough had managed to not watch this movie before 2020. Actually, I hadn't even heard about it prior to sitting down to watch it.

Which was a mistake on my behalf, because "Forbidden City Cop" was entertaining and enjoyable, and it was a very archetypical Stephen Chow movie, for better or worse. I enjoy his movies and his comedy, so this was a nice treat for me to watch.

The storyline is actually good, and it is laced with a good amount of action and comedy. Of course it is, this is a Stephen Chow movie after all. And directors Stephen Chow and Vincent Kok managed to put together a very enjoyable movie.

The movie offers a wide variety of genre mixes, such as comedy, martial arts, drama and mystery, so there definitely is something for just about anyone sitting down to watch it.

If you haven't already seen "Forbidden City Cop" then you should do so if you get the chance, especially if you have an interest in these types of Asian movies.

My rating for this movie lands on a six out of ten stars.

review based on ineptly subtitled copy on youtube

It's hard to know what I would think of this parody of cheesy martial arts movies if it were properly translated. Would it make more sense? Are there clever jokes hidden in there? It's hard to tell.

The story seems episodic, coming across as two separate stories that each end with a big fight. In terms of the non-dialogue parts, the first story has the better final fight, a crazy, often funny scene involving gadgets that gets a lot of laughs out of giant magnets. The other big action scene was less interesting.

What comes through even with the bad translation is a really charming relationship between protagonist Chow and wife Carina Lau. Those scenes are really fun.

Outside of one action scene and the relationship scenes I didn't care much for this. It's very lowbrow slapstick and while it's a parody of bad, cheaply made movies, it's not far from what it's mocking.

But still, with better subtitles this might be a better movie than I think it is.

Over the top comedy of exaggeration

Many of the same sort of visual gags found in Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle get their first sparks here. The comedy is very broad, as usual for an HK production, and the production is uneven at times. The kung-fu is more crazy-fu and shot in dizzying super wide angle close- ups. In contrast the non-fighting portions are photographed nicely.

Chow is a good comic actor following in the footsteps of notable actors like Fu Sheng, Jacky Chan and others. The relationship between Chow's character and the wife is very well done for this type of film. There are lots of anachronistic media references and sometimes the film seems more like a TV show. Much of the action seems to be influenced by Ng See Yuen's Shaolin Drunkard films of the 1980's, not that that's bad at all.

Not as polished as Chow's later films but good fun.
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