In Mandarin with English and Chinese subtitles
Director: Jack Neo
Cast: Jack Neo, Mark Lee, Henry Thia, Lai Meng,
Vivian Lai, Lim Ru Ping
RunTime: 2 hrs 9 mins
Released By: GV
Official Website: http://www.MoneyNoEnough2.com
Opening Day: 31 July 2008
Ten-years since the first Money No Enough, local celebrity
auteur Jack Neo's "Money No Enough 2" returns to
lampoon life in Singapore where money is never enough. The
story revolves around three brothers from a middle-income
background in contemporary Singapore. They are caricatures
to represent the three income classes of Singaporeans. It
is the filmmaker's wish that Money No Enough 2, through the
trials and tribulations faced by the three Yang brothers,
gives us insight into the lives of Singaporeans today and
a chance to laugh at ourselves.
If we Singaporeans really “money no enough”, why
would we fork out money to watch local director Jack Neo’s
we are suckers for a story that is close to our hearts (read:
the Hollywood superhero isn’t going to save you when
you don’t have enough cash to buy that swanky home entertainment
system you’ve been eyeing for the longest time). Because
we are suckers when a movie makes fun of the government (read:
when you can’t protest about your grievances in front
of the Istana, this is probably the next best alternative).
And because we are suckers who want to see whether the award
winning Neo is back in form after the disappointing Chinese
New Year offer that was Ah Long Pte Ltd (read: we didn’t
enjoy his last movie a lot, so the expectations for this one
naturally isn’t very high).
the dread of having to sit through 126 minutes of drab affair
turned into a pleasant surprise when we actually found ourselves
chuckling heartily several times throughout the movie.
years after the phenomenally successful Money No Enough (did
you know that it was a chap named Tay Teck Lock who directed
the movie, with Neo penning the screenplay?), the sequel tells
the same old story of how Singaporeans live with the woes
of not having enough money to get by everyday. Mark Lee, Henry
Thia and Neo himself play three brothers with different personalities
who deal with financial problems differently when a crisis
hits the family.
fine chemistry between the three of them is the first thing
you notice. Having worked together for so long, it is only
natural that the casting is spot on. Supporting roles are
comfortably played by Lim Ru Ping (Thia’s family doting
wife), “getai” singer Zhu Ling Ling (Neo’s
showy wife) and Vivian Lai (Lee’s wife whose role is
somewhat underdeveloped). Standout performances come from
Lee (please stick to roles like this and not effeminate ones
next to Fann Wong) and Malaysian actress Lai Meng (the brothers’
ailing mother). You can feel Lee’s angst as he screams
his head off with Hokkien vulgarities in one quarrel scene.
You can feel the quiet heartbreak when Lai shows signs of
Alzheimer's disease as she repeatedly asks her son a simple
question. These simple yet effective scenes are what make
the movie work.
when the movie decides to go into melodramatic mode during
its last third, you forgive it because it makes for good tear
jerking moments. Themes of family bonding and filial piety
works best in such a context. You also forgive the movie for
its straightforward camerawork (not an art film, remember?)
and blatant product placements – how else do you think
this is going to work for its massive marketing campaigns?
Watch out for particular brands of beverages, barbecues pork,
electrical appliances and telecommunication systems appearing
in your face throughout the movie. Heck, there is even a bank
involved in this movie.
than the emotional setups, locals will enjoy the jabs at how
the government is making our lives poorer. We shan’t
go into details here – let’s just say these are
issues that you can hear in every other corner of Singapore.
We read a report on how Neo is thankful that his movie is
passed clean by our friends at the censorship. In a move to
support local filmmakers, we are happy for him too –
go on, get your parents into the cinema to enjoy this family
affair of a movie.
(Jack Neo knows his heartland audience well enough
to make this enjoyable movie)
Review by John Li