When you think of Hong Kong cinema, you think of guns, gunfights and explosions. You think of Chow Yun-Fat and his signature 2 bad boys shooting and killing everything in sight. There is no depth. They are made just for entertainment purposes. This one...is not one of those movies.
It is a coming-of-age movie that takes a insightful look at teenagers (more for guys) growing up in Hong Kong. The backdrop might be the 80s, but the things that the main character went through are reminisce of everything a person will go through during his or her adolescence. It talks about issues that a person goes through while becoming a man, ranging from love, sex, the pressures of trying to get into a good school, ups and downs of friendships, relationship with parents, etc. It leaves nothing unturned and with the movie dealing with these issues through an adolescence's point of view, it gives the movie a sense of honesty and insightfulness that contributes to part the movie's appeal. This movie will bring back memories to the viewers, for those who went through adolescence and especially for those who went through it in Hong Kong, and put a smile to their faces.
Another part of the movie's appeal is that the main character interacts with a lot of pop culture that define the 80s era, like the same technique "Forrest Gump" used. Even though the time period was never discussed, the viewers all know the movie is set in the 80s, with some prominent names, movies and events of that era appearing throughout the movie. Names of movies and famous people of the 80s pop up here and there (with Leslie Cheung, a symbol himself in the 80s, appearing as himself, and discussing his most famous movie, "A Better Tomorrow"), and quotes of famous commercials or movie characters that define the 80s being talked about throughout the movie. There are a lot of what-could-have-been moments, with the main character influencing and even creating some of the moments that defined the 80s (the diamond commercial quote, with my best translation, "I don't care if I don't own it forever, all I treasure is that I own it before,"), and the movie added the criticisms of now-famous personnels during that time (with a teacher calling Eric Kot, a fast-talking DJ turned rapper turned actor, "strange, always mumbling to himself.") It brings the viewer, especially if he grew up was a adolescence growing up in the 80s like myself, back to his adolescence and back to the 80s era. It is a unique experience.
Most of the actors and actresses are B-list actors. Although they all did a good job and many had memorable performances, it is a little disappointing that none achieved fame. The main character, Booby played by John Tang, has never achieve the same amount of fame in his latter works and he is regulated to playing small and bit parts for TV, typecasting into always playing a man who has not grew up yet. The most recognizable name is Eric Tsang (not counting the uncredited cameo by Leslie Cheung) and he did not disappoint. He showed of some of his acting skills by playing a believable sympathetic father and his performance is touching, fitting well with the movie.
This movie is a different kind of entertainment than everyone is used to, but it has this artistic touch and depth rarely seen in Hong Kong movies, which is a nice surprise. Recommended for everyone. Adolences, especially ones that had grew up in Hong Kong, and those who lived in Hong Kong during the 80s, will enjoy this movie even more.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?