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Wu Yen (2001)

Chung Wu Yen (original title)


, (as Wai Ka Fai)


(as Wai Ka Fai), (as Yau Nai Hoi) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chung Wu Yen
Emperor Qi / Ancestor Huan
Ho-Yin Wong ...
Rebel Wu Tsi (as Raymond Wong)
Cecilia Cheung ...
Yinchun / Fairy Enchantress
Suet Lam ...
Prime Minister An (as Lam Suet)
Tin Sang Lung ...
Court Historian (as Lung Tin Sang)
Wai Leung Hung ...
Court Advisor (as Hung Wai Leung)
Ka Sang Cheung ...
General Tien (as Cheng Ka Seng)
Shiu Hung Hui ...
Emperor of Chu (as Hui Siu Hung)
Wai Ai ...
Emperor of Yen (as Al Wai)
Wong Chun ...
Emperor of Qin (as Chun Wong)
Joe Cheng ...
An Emperor
Chi Ping Cheung ...
(as Cheung Chi Ping)
Tian-Lin Wang ...
Earth God (as Wong Tin Lam)
Man-Wai Wong ...
Earth God (as Bonnie Wong)


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Plot Keywords:

gender bender | See All (1) »


Comedy | Fantasy


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Release Date:

18 January 2001 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Wu Yen  »

Box Office


SGD 300,000 (Singapore)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Emperor from another kingdom: Don't think we won't slap you silly.
See more »


Followed by Qixuan wang yu Zhong Wu Yan (2004) See more »


Feeling Alone
Performed by Sammi Cheng
See more »

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User Reviews

Something completely different
14 July 2007 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Ka-Fai Wai and Johnnie To's Wu Yen almost defies synopsis and in many ways has absolutely no right to work – but it does, and how. The performances are wildly over the top yet also wildly funny, a rare combination at the best of times; the direction is often one step away from TV, rarely leaving the sound stage or the comfort of close-ups and medium shots, but it has just the right level of energy and comic timing to work perfectly; the laugh-out-loud jokes are often silly and smutty, yet just as often slyly witty and inspired with an almost Swiftian sense of satire (generals are chosen by a brawl among the candidates to save time) aided by a surprisingly good English subtitle translation; and the story is increasingly outrageous on a truly exponential level yet still just about rooted in enough emotional truth about the fickle ironies of love to have enough underlying substance to stop it disappearing under the weight of its ever more frenetic plotting.

The plot? Well, you'll have to bear with me for a moment… Lost in the woods, the Emperor Qi (Anita Mui) stumbles across local chief Wu Yen (the captivating Sammi Cheng, who is naturally regarded by all and sundry as ugly), his predestined bride, only to accidentally free a promiscuous fox fairy (Cecilia Cheung) who promptly falls in love with both of them, changing between man and woman to clumsily woo each, setting the scene for a constantly shifting triangle with the emperor torn between both the fox fairy and Wu Yen and the fox fairy after whichever one will agree to marry her/him first.

If that sounds like an only slightly off-kilter fable, think again: 'slightly' doesn't even begin to cover it: the Emperor is a horny idiot who thinks with his dick and not much of a prize in anyone's book, only able to love Wu Yen when he's in trouble, being led by his pecker to the fox fairy at all other times, but hey, he's her destiny and the future of the empire depends on their union. This is way beyond Victor Victoria role-playing – as if the transgender casting of Anita Mui as the lecherous Emperor or Chung's bisexual fox fairy weren't enough, her character spends part of the movie pretending to be a woman to prevent a particularly thick patriot she's managed to turn into a rebel (thinking him too ugly to be a general) from killing her while at one point one female character grows a beard and penis only to be advised not to get too close to her prospective husband because "it doesn't show so much with the lights out." Even at a surprisingly long (for Hong Kong) two hours plus the plot doesn't stop for breath as the staples of the genre are roundly lampooned – this may well be the first Asian film to include a sword fight with a horrendously flatulent general - throwing in a sendup of China's Olympics, some particularly bizarre diplomacy, a running gag on the rules of Mah-jong and etiquette of cheating, a couple of pointless wars, Lam Suet camping it up as the Prime Minister and some good songs along the way. Did I mention the ghosts? Or the mole? Aw, just see it for yourself - great entertainment and great fun, this one's a real joy.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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This movie is damn weird. kidlivid
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