A classic story is retold and the result is at once delightful and hilarious. Reliable veteran actress Anita Mui plays the king of the Qi kingdom in a gender bender and revels in her role in providing most of the comic moments in the movie. Sammi Cheng plays the female warrior Chung Wu Yen, who is bound by destiny to fall in love with the king. Cecelia Cheung plays a fox spirit who is in love with both Wu Yen and the king, depending on which gender it takes when it is in human form. At the start of the movie, the fox spirit puts a curse on Wu Yen that causes her to be ugly as long as she is in love with the king. Wu Yen thus falls out of favour with the lusty king, who takes to the female form of the fox spirit. However, each time the king gets into trouble with other kingdoms, he goes to Wu Yen begging her to use her superior martial arts and military tactics to save him. It is absolutely brilliant of the plot that due to various circumstances, each of these three female leads play both the male and female roles through the course of the movie. Like many Hongkong period comedies, this one has plenty of modern day objects thrown in to hilarious effect. The king's four advisers provide plenty of comic relief as well, making the movie a bubbly affair. At times this movie is even slightly touching as it explores the ideas of love, loyalty and beauty in a couple of poignant moments. Anita Mui proves once again her natural prowess at doing comedy, while Sammi Cheng and Cecelia Cheung put in more than credible performances. This movie might be a bit long but it never ceases to entertain. At least 3 and a half stars out of five.
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