Satan Returns

It’s amazing how one actor can nearly ruin a film that has real potential. This is certainly the case in this instance. Everyone else in the cast is playing this supernatural tale about the Devil coming back with a modicum of seriousness, but for some reason Dayo Wong acts as if he wandered in off the set of a Lucky Stars film. His feeble and totally inappropriate attempts at schoolboy humor constantly breaks the somber and creepy mood of this film. He was just incredibly irritating and I so wanted him to end up as an appetizer for the Devil. Well, the film still had Chingmy to help compensate!
The Devil is using his vile servant Francis Ng to locate his daughter that he left behind some ten years previously when she was just a little girl. One would think the Devil could keep track of his daughter – but I suppose good record keeping is a problem in Hell like everywhere else. So apparently, his poor daughter never received a birthday card or a Christmas present or even child support from dad – but then no one ever said that being the daughter of Satan was easy.
Chingmy and Francis Ng having a late night snack
But even though the Devil seems to have misplaced his daughter, he remembers her birthday – an easy date for the Devil to recall of course – 06/06/1969  - and so has Francis giving women with that date of birth a test to see if they might be his little sweetie. It’s not an easy test to pass, but certainly a simple one. Basically, Francis cuts their heart out and if they live it proves that they are the one Satan is searching for. If not – well you die.
Donnie Yen and Chingmy
Two cops, Donnie Yen and Chingmy Yau, discover some of these left over bodies and begin the investigation with Dayo also helping out. Ivy Leung volunteers to be a decoy and soon has someone on the phone hypnotically promising her anything she wants if she only comes to see him. It soon becomes apparent though that Francis thinks Chingmy is the one he is searching for, but she is in no particular rush to have her heart cut out.
Spencer Lam, Chingmy and Ivy Leung
If she is, Ng tells her, she will be the most powerful person in the world. When a priest, played of course by Spencer Lam, tells her that he knew her father and always thought it was odd that he had ‘666’ tattooed on the back of his neck, Chingmy begins to wonder if it could be true. Maybe this explains how she got all those great roles co-starring with Jet Li!
Parts of this film are quite well done – quick pace, interesting concept, and good lighting - and even with the extremely annoying Dayo – it is still watchable. One just wished a HK horror film didn’t find it necessary to so often include supposed comic relief. Chingmy, Donnie and Francis are all very good in this. Donnie behind his thick square rimmed spectacles is quiet, angry and focused with a couple of decent action sequences, Francis has done the psycho turn many times but no one does it better and Chingmy has many lovely close ups. Need I say more?
Dayo Wong, Chingmy and Donnie
My rating for this film: 6.0