FROM VEGAS TO MACAU (赌城风云) DVD (2014)
SYNOPSIS: The world renowned "Invincible Hand" Ken could identify not only mahjong tiles but also cards with them his fingers which had made him a legend. He retired and returned to his hometown Macau. Ken met his friend Benz, his son Cool and his newel Karl at his welcome banquet. Cool could learn from Ken but Ken claimed that if Cool could successfully cheat him once or win over him, then he would accept Cool as his protege. Cool's step brother Lionel, an interpol agent had been an undercover in an international gambling mafia; they had planned to form an alliance with mafias in illegal gambling from all over the world to control the result of soccer matches. Lionel had recorded the entire conference and record the criminal evidence in an imitated eye. Lionel fled back to Cool's home and hid the eye into the teddy bear that Cool was going to give Rainbow before he continued his flee. Ken worked with Cool and Karl to set up a perfect sting to uncover the evil plan...
Remember Chow Yun Fat and Wong Jing started the gambling craze back in 1989 with God of Gamblers? So it’s to everyone’s good fortune that we finally have a new gambling movie (sort of) starring the great Fat Gor in one of his best roles in years.
To appease the China censors about the touchy topic of gambling, Chow instead of playing Ko Chun now plays the role of Ken, a former God of Gamblers who is now back in Macau doing casino security. With a shady company named DOA dealing in illegal soccer betting, the Interpol decides to enlist Ken to help them uncover the activities of DOA’s owner, Mr Ko (Gao Hu). In the meantime, Ken’s buddy Benz (Hui Siu Hung), his son Cool (Nicholas Tse) and cousin Karl (Chapman To) joins in the fun as Cool yearns to become Ken’s apprentice while Benz’s stepson, undercover agent Lionel (Philip Ng) is killed by Mr Ko’s henchmen over a surveillance went wrong.
Well when it comes to a script written by Wong Jing, expect the usual slew of bad jokes and cinematic conveniences. But fortunately despite the occasional missteps, From Vegas to Macau still looks far more polished than his usual outputs all thanks to the charismatic Fat Gor who literally lights up the entire screen as he turns on his charm dancing, singing and gun playing his way out of every scene and corner. Even the usually reliable Tse becomes a tad wooden opposite Chow and Chapman To’s gags ends up being pale in comparison.
The Lunar New Year release also features appearances from current IT girl, Jing Tian (Special ID), Max Zhang (The Grandmaster) as Mr Ko’s assassin, Annie Wu’s (Police Story 4) as Ken’s personal assistant and everyone’s favourite half ang-moh Michael Wong. But no one can seriously beat Mr Chow. If there’s one complaint, I would say Wong Jing’s flick is actually pretty small scale if you want to bring up the original God of Gamblers series where it has a far more global feel. Much of From Vegas to Macau’s action took place in Ken’s mansionette likely courtesy of TVB’s inhouse décor talents (since the station is part of the financers) and the finale, which took place on a cruise ship, is a mere serviceable attempt to end on a high note.
Other than a few grievances, the return of Chow basically makes up for everything. It has action, comedy, romance and of course 94 minutes of Fat Gor’s irreplaceable cinematic magic.
The DVD comes with Mandarin and Cantonese dual tracks and visually, the imaging are brimming with details and colours stunning.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee