NOTHING CAN'T BE UNDONE BY A HOTPOT (没有一顿火锅解决不了的事) (2024)

Genre: Action/Comedy
Director: Ding Sheng
Cast: Yang Mi, Yu Qian, Tian Yu, YuAilei, Li Jiuxiao
Runtime: 2 hrs 8 mins
Rating: PG13 (Some Violence and Coarse Language)
Released By: Golden Village Pictures
Official Website: 

Opening Day: 16 May 2024

Synopsis: Four people who don't know each other share the loot in the backstage warehouse of the theater, and are accidentally involved in a murder case.

Movie Review:

 The title of this Chinese movie hits the spot with viewers who understand Mandarin. A Chinese hotpot meal is always welcome – the idea of enjoying a communal dining experience where friends and family gather around a simmering pot of broth warms the heart, and cooking various ingredients together while chatting about anything under the sun fills the stomach. And the local marketing team came up with a brilliant idea. Invitees of the preview screening could actually use their ticket as a discount voucher at a popular hotpot restaurant. How clever is that?

Directed by Ding Sheng (known for 2010’s Little Big Soldier, 2013’s Police Story 2013 and 2016’s Railroad Tigers – all starring Jackie Chan), this comedy is also a heist movie and a whodunit thriller. The movie wants to pack a lot of things into its 128 minute runtime, and everyone seems to be talking at the same time, so there isn’t really a quiet moment for you to catch your breath before the next plot twist is revealed.

The movie starts with four people who have never met each other in real life gathering in an opera theatre that also allows customers to play mahjong. The parlour’s owner had sent a cryptic message in a WeChat group, and it has brought three other members of the forum to meet in the theatre. Through a series of hurried conversations, it turns out that he would like to enlist their help to rob a local official whom he had bribed to prevent his business from getting demolished, but had pocketed the huge sum of money instead.

The motley crew carries out the heist and all goes relatively well, until they find themselves with two suitcases instead of one. The extra suitcase contains the unconscious body of the official, and the burly dude appears to be dead. Things become manic from this point, as conversations, arguments, dealings and decisions are made over – you’ve guessed it – a pot of boiling hotpot meal that is taking place at the backstage and kitchen area of the opera theatre.

The movie is as hilariously absorbing as it gets, so it is rather unfortunate that the title was pulled from cinemas in China a week after its opening (and rereleased on a streaming site shortly after), no thanks to low ticket sales. There are lots to digest throughout the movie as the four protagonists played by Yang Mi, Yu Qian, YuAilei and Li Jiuxiao take turns to be in the spotlight of the movie. We learn more about their past, why they actually showed up at the opera house and how they are connected to the official portrayed in a gleefully loathsome manner by Tian Yu. Amidst the unfolding drama, an opera actor would occasionally barge in to disrupt the flow of things with philosophical musings.

The lines are delivered in a fast and furious manner by the ensemble cast, and everyone is speaking at the top of their voices almost the whole time. Complementing the frenzy are the vibrant colours of the hotpot setup and the bubbling broth – you can almost smell the tantalising spiciness in the air.

As the movie charges towards its finale, more revelations are made and you get a sensing that the story feels overstuffed - but you have to admit that it has been a very entertaining experience.

Movie Rating:

(A frenzy of comedy and mystery, this entertaining movie delivers a manic good time)

Review by John Li

You might also like:


Movie Stills