The Conman

Considering that this film falls into the HK gambling genre and is also directed by Wong Jing, it is a very low key and mellow film. No one ever seems too hurried here for anything much to happen and there is not any real doubt in the viewer’s mind that the conclusion will be amenable as well.
Andy Lau, Nicky Cheung and Athena Chu
The film starts off with a bit of an edge to it, with Andy Lau, a gambler, getting ready for a big match by relaxing with his mistress. His wife is waiting for him outside the door, but he has no time for her. He caustically remarks to her “I just put on my pants five minutes ago. Does that answer any question?” He is a total jerk. And in fact a cheater as well – not only to his wife, but in his work also. He gets caught this night though and in the ensuing brawl kills someone and is sentenced to jail for five years.
Andy Lau with mistress and geeky moustache
The time in jail though seems to change him for the better (and thankfully rids him of his pencil moustache!), but it takes any edge away from the film. He is Mr Nice Guy now – helping everyone – but still earning his way through gambling. His wife has disappeared, but he rents a room from the sister (Athena Chu) of his protege -Nicky Cheung. She tells him not to even think about romance because he is much too old for her. Poor Andy! Getting too old for the girls. Don’t worry, before all is over Athena realizes older guys are better! My kind of woman.
Athena Chu - soon realizes that a little grey in the hair is just fine
At any rate the film meanders about for quite a while in an easy going and fairly enjoyable manner until Waise Lee (in shaven head mode) forces him to go back to his cheating ways. He fakes a TV showing of the Brazil-France World Cup match with Wong Jing directing that as well and they even produce their own ridiculous commercials. Funny stuff.
Picture obtained from China Star site
Don’t expect a lot of exciting gambling or action scenes here. The strength of the film rests on Lau’s and the rest of the cast’s charming and relaxing performances and they make this an enjoyable way to spend a little time.