Director: Susie Au
Cast: Zhou Xun, Daniel Wu, Tony Yang and
RunTime: 1 hr 46 mins
Released By: GVP
Official Website: http://www.mingmingthemovie.com/
Day: 26 April 2007
Ming Ming is a 21st century matial arts princess
and lady Robin Hood who steals for love. Her Prince Charming
is D, a maverick fighter and irresistible rogue who posted
his challenge to his swarms of female admirers – give
him 5 million dollars and he’ll run away with his benefactress.
Ming loses no time to rob Underworld boss Cat. While fleeing
from Cat’s henchmen, Ming Ming runs into Nana. Not only
is Nana a virtual look-alike of Ming Ming, she is also one
of D’s girlfriends. Ming Ming makes Nana the scapegoat
for her theft. However, Ming Ming’s secret admirer Tu
mistakes Nana for her, and becomes her guardian angel.
as this identity mix-up is taking place, D disappears from
Shanghai without a trace. The only clue he leaves behind is
a cryptic phone message. The two girls search all four corners
of the sprawling city but are left dismayed and disappointed.
Even more dejected is Tu, who realizes that he means nothing
to his goddess.
the four lost souls weave in and out of each other’s
lives in the maze-like metropolis, the dark forces of Cat
are closing in on them.
When the first couple walks out of the theatre 20
minutes into the movie, you start to wonder whether there
is anything wrong with it. When the second couple walks out
of the theatre 20 minutes later, you begin to wonder whether
you should give this Hong Kong production the benefit of the
the next couple walks out another 20 minutes later, you know
your judgment is affirmed.
plot is almost a dead giveaway that this movie will not go
down well with the mainstream audience. The female protagonist
Ming Ming is a “martial arts princess” who shoots
marbles to injure her opponents. Yes, you read correctly:
cool fighter meets her prince charming who tells her that
he will run off to Harbin with anyone who can give him 5 million
dollars. Yes, you read correctly: Harbin.
begins Ming Ming’s quest to rob 5 million dollars to
be with the man of her dreams. Along the way, she meets a
mysteriously effeminate baddie, a girl who looks exactly like
her (it’s the same actress with a different wig, silly),
and a hoard of other inconsequential characters.
be fair, Mainland actress Zhou Xun does make the show bearable,
but unfortunately only to a certain extent. The glowing Golden
Horse and Hong Kong International Film Festival winner displays
a coolness that makes us want to believe in the fantastical
virtual world that is presented on screen. Her throaty accent,
her confident swagger and her ice-cold look – these
are the best parts of the 106-minute movie.
rest of it is a self-indulgent visual piece that begs you
to gape in awe at its technically-impressive fast-paced editing.
Susie Au may be a veteran music video director, but seeing
flashy effects and showy camerawork cannot quite sustain the
film’s credibility. It also does not help that the Au’s
script (co-written with Angela Lau and Louisa Wei) is pompously
constructed, with the ostentatious voiceover narrations that
do not engage nor touch viewers in any way.
a pity then, considering that the movie features some capable
actors, ranging from the brooding Daniel Wu as the Prince
Charming, the youthful Tony Yang as an accomplice on the run,
the creepy Jeff Chang as a villain with a past and the gorgeous
Kristy Yang as, well, a Shanghai woman whose role can be removed
without affecting the plot.
what’s left of this film which had great potential to
excite the Hong Kong filmmaking scene?
there’s only the beautiful Zhou, and whoever’s
left in the theatre one hour into the movie.
(Even the luminous Zhou Xun cannot save this prolonged MTV
from being one of the most pretentious Hong Kong productions
by John Li