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Genre: Comedy
Starring: Tat-Ming Cheung, Sam Lee, Candy Lo, Wong Chi Wah, Rain Li, Amanda Lee
Director: Marco Mak
Rating: PG
Year Made: 2006




Format: 2 VCDS
Subtitles: Chinese & English
Running Time: 1 hr 29 mins
Distributor: InnoForm Media




Millionaire Fu Ho founded the Fu Gui Mall. To reward the tenants, he sets up a rental model with them. Each store can send a representative to play Taiwan mahjong with him to substitute rental every month. Gi is recommended by Sam to rent a store there but she needs to learn to play Taiwan mahjong as a condition. On the day Gi plays with Fu Ho, she is defeated but unexpectedly pleases Fu Ho who decides to rent her a store.

Fu Ho's son, Sun Gui is planning to take over the business and rebuild the mall. He sends Tat to set up stores in the mall to hit the business of the tenants. He even engages 4 mahjong experts to gamble with them. Gi, Sam, Lam and everyone become losers; they not only lose their money but also their livelihood. With the help of a mahjong expert, they finally turn defeat to victory in order to face their final opponent, Tat...


While it is no fault of this reviewer that he knows nuts about mahjong, he promised that he would be objective as possible when he was asked to review this Hong Kong movie.

But alas, whether you are an expert at the game or not, this slipshod production is an obvious no-go, right from the start of its 89-minute runtime.

Dayo Wong Chi-Wah, Same Lee and Cheung Tat-Ming are friends who play mahjong to pay off rent for their shop-houses. Throw in a few other inconsequential roles played by Candy Lo, Rain Li and Elanne Kong and you have a messy movie about, well, people playing mahjong to pay off debts.

The most jarring aspect of this movie is its cheap production value, because every scene, every location and every prop looks and feels like a television-movie (well, that explains why this flick did not make it to local cinemas here). The uninspired camerawork and sloppy attempts at incorporating computer-generated effects are painful to watch.

It is a pity then, because the actors are capable of much more. Cheung starred in indie hits like Edmond Ho’s AV (2005) while Lee is a ferocious killer in Cheang Pou-Soi’s Dog Bite Dog (2006). Why actors take up projects like that continues to puzzle us.

It’d been nice to hear the actors in their original Cantonese soundtrack, but what we have here is a Mandarin-dubbed track that further makes this movie disengaging.

Let’s see, you won’t care for the story, you won’t care for the characters, and you won’t care who wins the final mahjong deal - who should be blamed?

Director Marko Mak did a decent job in his last big screen outing Operation Undercover (2006) starring Francis Ng and Jordan Chan. Here, Mak has to deal with an uninteresting script, a motley crew of uninteresting characters and an impossible task of explaining what mahjong is all about to this unknowledgeable reviewer.


Review by John Li


Other titles from Innoform:

. Mercury Man

. Colour Of Hope

. Confession Of Pain

. Colour Of Hope

. Loveaholic

. Colic

. Silk

. Ghost Variety

. The Knot

. Boa

. The Host

. Forbidden Siren

. The Banquet

. Hell

. Eating Air

. Ghost Valentine

. 4:30

. My Name Is Fame

. Letter

. Born to Fight

. Lizard Woman

. Chai-Lai Angels

. Helen the Baby Fox

. Love Asia

. The Commitment

. The Story of X-Circle

. Beautiful, Wonderful, Perfect

. Hit Man



This review is made possible with the kind support from InnoForm Media


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