Kingdom of Mob

Venturing into a HK video store these days and renting a bunch of new unfamiliar releases is comparable to crossing a grazing pasture in the dark of night. The chances are pretty good that you will step on a cow pie or two. I did with this film. It is simply dreadful with not a single redeeming factor. Picking up this film is an easy mistake to make with a cast of Anthony Wong, Diana Pang Dan, Wu Ma and Michael Chan – but these days it is clear that actors are happy to get any kind of work.

There is a kernel of a good idea somewhere in this film, but there is such a lack of subtlety and execution that it gets completely lost in the mess. The story takes place a few years into the new millennium and a triad group is aware that HK will soon spread out into the New Territories – and that the land that is cheap now – will be worth a fortune in a few years. They set into motion their plans to buy up as much land as possible.

Pang Dan and Anthony Wong
This primarily revolves around Michael Chan doing whatever is necessary to become the Mayor of a small town so that he can railroad land purchases through. To do this – Chan and his son and daughter (Pang Dan) do whatever has to be done – bribing, violence, and intimidation – to accomplish this. Eventually, the ICAC in HK learns of this and comes out to investigate and when they initially can’t get anywhere they bring Anthony Wong and his bad haircut into the fray. It turns out that Pang Dan and Wong have a history and both have hidden agendas.
Pang Dan and Michael Chan
Damn! – reading that summary it sounds like a decent film. Don’t believe it  - it is awful – heavy-handed, badly acted, idiotic script, poor production values and painfully tedious. Usually having one villain doing the maniacal laugh thing is more than I can take. This film has three of them! Do directors, writers and actors really think all bad guys go into a crazed laugh every time they do something rotten?
Sometimes Wong can single-handedly make a film interesting, but here he sleepwalks through his role and talks so slowly and monotonously that you fear he will pass out in mid-sentence at times. Pang Dan has been known to spark up a bad film as well – but certainly not in a sexless and thankless role such as the one she has here. Somewhere around the one hour mark of this film Wong - who was recently accused by an actress of being a bit frisky in their love scenes – grabs Pang Dan and the two of them lock lips for a minute or two.  And I thought OK – so at least this is why Anthony Wong did this film – but what was everyone else’s excuse.

My rating for this film: 3.5