Main cast: Gurmit Singh (Tai Po), Mark Lim (Handsome), Sharon Au (Kim), Moe Alkaff (Vernon), Siva Choy (Sammy Best), and Robin Leong (Gavin)
Directors: Eric Khoo and Wei Koh
As Singaporean movies go, One Leg Kicking isn’t pure excretory material. Eric Khoo, after all, is one of the Big Daddies of Singaporean movies. By this, I mean Eric Khoo rips off American movies better than anyone else. His latest effort is a formulaic offering that is saved by some amusing rip-off scenes taken from literary works such as Lolita.
But the cast, staple of Singaporean TV, remains unwatchable with their overacting. How Mark Lim, with his indecipherable patois of the English language, can be so big in Singapore is one of those mysteries that will forever mystify civilization.
The story? Loser football (soccer to Americans) team called the Durians under the coaching of Sammy Best triumphs over the arrogant, Americanized Kosmos to win a trip to the World Cup 2002 finals. You know the drill. There are half-hearted “we’re not gonna make it” stuff, team break ups, team reuniting before the end after some obligatory soul searching “we are family” stuff, and the Durians win. The end.
The cast? You have seen them before. Tai Po, loser who just wants to give his kiddies a good life. Tai Po has some emotional scenes, and Gurmit Singh does adequately. Mark Lim as ex-con Handsome is excretable, and half the time I have no idea what he is yammering. His overacting and Bruce Lee imitations remind me of a howler monkey in heat. He and Sharon Au, who plays the girl caught in the love triangle between Kosmos hottie Gavin and Handsome, have no chemistry.
Moe Alkaff plays the fat, dowdy Indian guy, the staple of Singaporean movies next to that fat, shrewish Chinese woman and fat, clumsy Chinese boy staples played for comic effects. Ha, ha, so much sophisticated humor, eh?
Robin Leong – who if you ask me is the sexiest of the Singaporean antiseptic testosterone brigade – is nice to look at, but he can’t act. Put him next to a Roman statue and people will give the statue an Oscar.
So, as far as movies go, One Leg Kicking is average for a Singapore film, but still rubbish as a movie by itself.