There's a special quality to the comedy in this film that's heightened immeasurably by the really warm and vital characters that stand at the center of this very goofy film. The story itself feels like it was cooked up in an evening of drinking, but the way that it's executed by director Vincent Kok (and uncredited collaborator/star Stephen Chow) makes it so that story is always a side-consideration to character development, rather than a necessary cause of changes. Zany and cartoonish like Chow's more famous 2000s film "Kung Fu Hustle", but anchored by the kind of convincing romantic relationship that made "Shaolin Soccer" a better film, the film is nothing less than a joy to behold.
Although the American title seems to imply that it's a cop story (perhaps because of the 1990s popularity of Hong Kong police movies), the film is actually more of a spoof of spy movies as its original title implies. There's a very clever title sequence that spoofs the Bond sequences, and then Chow plays a hero named Ling Ling Fat who is an inventor of strange devices which he uses to defend the Emperor (Tat-Ming Cheung). He is a secret agent, and has chosen gynecology as his cover. In furtherance of his cover and to protect the curious Emperor, he travels to an important medical conference in the Gum province to see a "flying fairy" dissection. The leaders of Gum, a brand of bizarre villains headed by "No Face", have set an obvious trap for the Emperor and it's up to agent Fat to save him.
The most extraordinary aspect of the film is the wonderful chemistry between Chow and his wife, played by Carina Lau. Lau is an incredible actress to judge from this film, and Chow is a very good comedian, so they create a unique coupling. I'll never be able to forget, nor would I want to, some of Lau's more interesting double-takes and expressions. The scenes with these two actors or the real treasure of the film.
However, it has much more to offer besides. First of all there is some decent kung fu action, although most of this is confined to the early and final sections of the film. Chow is no kung fu master and has no desire to pretend to be, so the humorous devices he comes up with (such as a pistol that he fires out of his mouth) are a great substitute and provide plenty of action. More interesting still is the emphasis in this movie on what could only be called trans-gender themes, the instances of which are almost too numerous to recount. First there is Fat's mysterious helper, a man dressed as a woman, whom he later inexplicably claims is his sister. There is also a scene where Chow himself crossdresses to get into a geisha house, and is surprised and titillated by a masculinized geisha from Gum who he meets there. Although this is a zany comedy, there are serious themes here concerning the nature of identity. The villains all have ambiguous identity and sexuality -- "No Face" has no gender, and his wife looks almost like a man. His son calls himself "Two Face" and travels around with an indescribably bizarre getup that allows himself to appear to his enemies as either a man or a woman. Ling Ling Fat, as part of his job as gynecologist, is called upon at one point to decide if the "flying fairy" (who looks like a Roswell alien) is a man or a woman. He decides the fairy must be a woman because of the lack of business down there, but it turns out to be the Emperor in disguise. So much gender confusion I have never seen in any film, much less in a martial arts comedy. The point of it seems to be on the one hand to provide a very different kind of humor, and on the other hand to put doubt in the audience's mind about their own preconceptions on gender.
This is a unique, fascinating movie that has provided me with great insight into the style and philosophy of Stephen Chow. There are many hilarious scenes that I haven't even been able to hint at here, particularly towards the end of the film. I'd say it's one of the most unusual and memorable comedies of the 1990s.