Mr Ho (Natalis Chan), "King of Gambling", is the leader of the Hong Kong Mah Jong industry. He has a happy family who seemed to be harmonious, but is actually fighting for the family's wealth. Their fight intensifies when Mr. Ho brings his illegitimate child, Ah Fai (Bosco Wong), back home. As he is getting old, he leaves his 3 sons to manage each "Mah Jong" club and the most competent one will be his heir.
One of the possible reason why anyone want to pick up The Luckiest Man could be that person was impressed by Lam Tze-chung (Fat Lam, that Stephen Chow’s Kungfu Hustle Fat sidekick)’s directorial debut, “I’ll Call You” . While his directorial debut bears the hallmarks of a first timer mistakes, Fat Lam showed potential talent with the depiction of modern love.
However with his second film as a director, it caused one to worry that he could be the next Wong Jing wannabe with all his bad points and none of the instinct for crowd pleasing materials.
So what went wrong for this movie that felt like a poor man lunar New Year flick?
Firstly, the recycled jokes were badly done and the comedic effects just failed to deliver the punch by a mile. The jokes were so recycled that it still uses the glue shampoo trick device which Stephen Chow used and abandon back in the nineties. The film also tried to inform the audience that the punch line had been delivered by having it’s actor flashing the peace sign in a cutesy way which is just sad to see the joke makers at such a lost with comedy. The Luckiest Man also felt like it’s paying an “homage” to Wong Jing with it’s unimaginatively spoof of Prison Break and Wolverine.
The casting of old (Natalis Chan), supporting (Chan Kwok-Kwan, that Bruce Lee look alike) and TVB (Bosco Wong) celebrities also did little to create a buzz for this movie. Kudos to Nat Chan for toning his performance down and delivered somewhat likeable acting compared to his previous gross out acts that inhibited most of his movies. But still as someone who frontline this movie as a lead, his performance did very little to alleviate this film from the forgettable batch of Hong Kong movies.
Chan Kwok Kwan’s performance here felt like he sleep walk through the whole show and Bosco Wong’s performance doesn’t exceed the usual TVB TV requirement. Yuen Qiu from the Kungfu Hustle comeback fame seems to be proving that there isn’t any solid movie for her to act on while Monica Chan look like she had aged considerably since Double Tap and One Night in Mongkok.
The plotting was also badly patched together. The Luckiest Man demonstrated that Director Lam does not have the ability to handle a movie with so many characters in the ensemble. It felt like he was attempting to cook too many dishes at one go, resulting in half baked subplots while some were overly done. It also show that he simply lacks the comedic flair to direct and/or write comedy as compared to his benefactor Stephen Chow and good old Hong Kong comedy maestro such as Jeffery Lau and Lee Lik Chee.
There were some moments in this show that was mildly entertaining but sadly, there was far too few of them or memorable enough to mention here. “I’ll Call You” had made Fat Lam a director to watch out for while this one, “The Luckiest Man” made him a director to avoid.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This DVD Comes with a trailer for this movie.
During the playback of this film, viewers will be able to spot the ScorpioEast Logo flashing on the top right hand corner. It will happen twice during the movie, once near the start and the second one near the end of the movie.
by Richard Lim Jr