My Take

Triad roughing up of Michael Bay does wonders for city's image

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 October, 2013, 12:52am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 October, 2013, 3:21pm

Has the roughing-up on the Transformers movie set in Quarry Bay involving alleged triads damaged the city's international reputation? I rather think the opposite, though many people believe otherwise.

Reading his blog, you will find Michael Bay was not only unfussed, but rather amused by the altercation.

"He came by my crew as we were shooting, carrying a long air-conditioner unit," he wrote.

"He walked right up to me and tried to smack my face, but I ducked, threw the air unit on the floor and pushed him away.

"That's when the security jumped on him. But it took seven big guys to subdue him. After that, we had a great day shooting here in Hong Kong. The place couldn't be better."

Seven guys! And they were just Bay's personal security. In the end, it took 15 police officers in riot gear to arrest four suspects. Given their obvious kung fu prowess, maybe Bay should just hire those guys for his movies, rather than letting them be charged with blackmail and assault.

If only the suspected triads had managed to disrupt Bay and his film crew in the making of yet another mind-numbing, deafness-inducing Transformers movie for the cinematically challenged! Perhaps they were only trying to do the world a favour.

Tourism Board chairman Peter Lam Kin-ngok said he hoped there would not be a repeat of such incidents "[as] the reputation of Hong Kong will deteriorate".

Will the latest incident scare off Hollywood types like Bay from coming here again? I seriously doubt it. They will probably come back for more.

The incident will only reinforce Hollywood's stereotypical image of Hong Kong as an exotic, crime-infested city. And it has been great publicity for Bay. So what's not to like?

Think of all those wondrous Jean-Claude Van Damme movies shot in Hong Kong in which the Muscle from Brussels took down triad baddies one by one.

We must never underestimate Hollywood's love of the cliched, the trite and stereotypical.

Now that the triad incident has spread far and wide, not least thanks to Bay's own bragging in his blog, we can rest assured that our city's international reputation is secure.