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
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.
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 cant 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.
Damn! reading that summary it sounds like a
decent film. Dont 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 elses excuse.
My rating for this film: 3.5