Director: Jack Neo
Cast: Jack Neo, Mark Lee, Henry Thia, Xiang Yun, Tang Miao Ling, Patricia Mok, Denise Fong, Ivan Lo, Regina Lim, Braven Yeo, Kelly Wong
Runtime: 2 hr 18 mins
Rating: PG13 (Some Coarse Language)
Released By: Golden Village Pictures
Opening Day: 1 February 2024
Synopsis: The third movie in the popular MONEY NO ENOUGH series tells the story of Young Seniors Ah Hui, Ah Qiang and Ah Huang, who have been lifelong friends, and each face their own family and financial problems. In their attempt to join forces and support each another, their grand plan falls apart when the younger generation challenges the beliefs and value systems of the Young Seniors. Ah Huang's mounting debts drive him to desperate measures. He borrows money from Ah Qiang and Ah Hui, and builds illegal businesses that eventually prosper. However, his greed gets the better of him and he refuses to return any borrowed money from his trusting friends. Amidst his financial success, one of his businesses collapses, impacting not only his own family but also families of his two friends. Can the three friends and their families ever find a way to reconcile? Is money really the solution to everything?
When Jack Neo set out to make 1998's Money No Enough and 2008's Money No Enough 2, he probably wasn’t doing it to win awards. The overarching objective is probably to make money, and if you think deeper about how the movie business works, why not?
The commercially successful local filmmaker has made a name for himself with several movie series like I Not Stupid, Ah Boys to Men, The Diam Diam Era and Ah Girls Go Army. The movies have made a sizeable amount of profit at the box office, but critics may not be so kind to Neo’s brand of filmmaking. But in this writer’s opinion, the harsh reviews probably don’t affect him too much.
And that explains why we have the third movie in the Money No Enough series. You can expect everything you’d already know are elements of a Jack Neo movie. A plot that speaks to the masses, jokes (some are cheesier and cornier than others) that will entertain the lowest common denominator, cursing and swearing in dialect, melodramatic tear jerking sequences, and not forgetting product placements. Yup, they are all in place here. And if you are allergic to loud movies (we mean the high decibel levels from characters shouting at the top of their voices, not the ear shattering explosions from car crashes and bombs going off), you may want to enjoy your peace and quiet at home instead.
Neo, together with Mark Lee and Henry Thia, play Ah Qiang, Ah Huang and Ah Hui, three friends who are facing different financial challenges. The problems extend to their children, who have to work out what issues like how much it will cost to start a family and how to get a job that pays well. Hence, this “money no enough” matters are relatable to everyone, including us as viewers. Things take a dramatic turn when Lee’s Ah Huang gets involved in illegal dealings and plot goes into things like charity scams and sale of dubious health supplements. These are familiar because we would have read about them in news headlines.
One main complaint about Neo’s movies is how they are predictable, and that is not going to change anytime. This writer could anticipate quite a number of plot developments as the 138 minute progresses, but he also realises that this is why Neo’s works are making money. Such issues speak to the masses who want to see a slice of their own lives on the big screen, and where is the source of money? The masses. There is also a slightly amusing but not so essential side plot about how Ah Hui’ daughter is a Christian, while the rest of the family members are Buddhists. Granted that some of the plotlines are overly exaggerated, but they fulfil their purpose of providing entertainment.
There are a few young faces in this movie, including Denise Fong, Ivan Lo, Regina Lim, Braven Yeo and Kelly Wong. Lim (as Ah Huang’s daughter) and Yeo (as Ah Hui’s son) deliver commendable performances. There are also familiar names like Xiang Yun, Tang Miao Ling and Patricia Mok in the ensemble cast. But the actor who stands out in the movie is Lee, who becomes the centre of the spotlight in every scene he is in. His portrayal of a single parent who resorts to unlawful dealings is sympathetic at first, but when he turns into an unethical individual who goes all out to increase his profits, it is scary and detestable at the same time. In one standout sequence, Ah Huang tells a group of seniors how he is like a cult leader, and we see a happy crowd treating him as an idol. It is truly believable if he manages to control the poor seniors’ minds (and hard earned money) – through the Singaporean Hokkien way.
(Mark Lee's performance as a sympathetic single parent who turns into a money grubbing monster is the highlight of this Jack Neo movie which effortlessly speaks to the masses)
Review by John Li