One of these days I’m going to have to learn how
to play mahjong. There are so many HK films in which a working knowledge
would certainly add to the enjoyment of what is happening. It would have
for this film as there are long scenes of mahjong playing and I was completely
in the dark.
Ronnie Yu (Bride with White Hair) directed
this film, but it shows little of the flair that he has brought to other
films. It is a fairly innocuous and lighthearted film that isn’t
particularly challenging to watch and is easily forgettable for the most
part. In fact, I’m already forgetting ! A few things about the film do
stick out though – Amy Yip for one of course. She has a fairly large role
in this one and is very charming and sexy throughout. On top of that there
are two wacky and enjoyable performances from Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Simon
Raymond Wong is the “Great Pretender” – a con
man extraordinaire - and he has the able assistance of Tony, Simon and
the Yipster (the Queen of Mahjong). They size up a pigeon and put various
machinations in process to fleece the target. These range from mahjong
to murder (or so the pigeon thinks).
At times their victims strike back and in an early
scene Tony is kidnapped and has his head shaven. He has to spend the rest
of the film in a hideous looking toupee that keeps getting knocked off
The gang decides to go after a major loan shark
and use Amy as the bait. At a beauty contest the fish is hooked and the
plan goes into motion. It is quite convoluted, but fun to watch – in particular
the scene where the kid falls over the balcony.
None of this is to be taken serious and the corny
soundtrack emphasizes that, but not a bad way to waste some time if you
are either a Amy or a Tony fan.
My rating for this film: 6.5