A martial arts and Chinese medicine expert, Midget leads the famous 'Ngor Mei' clan in China. One day some men from Hong Kong arrive to seek medical advice. One of them is Fei Fu ¡V from ... See full summary »
A martial arts and Chinese medicine expert, Midget leads the famous 'Ngor Mei' clan in China. One day some men from Hong Kong arrive to seek medical advice. One of them is Fei Fu ¡V from one of the richest families in Hong Kong. Unaware of his background, Midget faithfully restores Fei Fu to perfect health. However, Fei Fu never had a chance to see Midget without bruises and cuts, accumulated from martial arts tournaments, on her face. Despite the pair¡¦s burgeoning friendship, Fei Fu must return home, leaving Midget to realize she¡¦s fallen in love with him. She takes the plunge and decides to follow him to Hong Kong ¡V but can she find her true love? Written by
How the mighty insist on falling. We've already lamented Johnnie To's decision to direct energies more towards the brainless end of the comedy scale as opposed to significant pictures like those famous for making him a benchmark artist (see Fulltime Killer, Running Out of Time and The Mission).
In a wild gambit, To and cohort Wai Kai Fai have produced yet more of the same with a comedy standing out mostly by not standing out at all. And if that last sentence seems meaningless, so will the movie. Playing precariously on pre-conceived stigmas, the film depicts a stereotypical HK rich playboy (Gu Tian Le) visiting Sichuan's fabled E Mei mountain in search of healing. At a rustic monastery he hooks up with wide-eyed, amiable mainland hick Wang Feng (Sammi Cheng). The latter not only boasts flaming rosy cheeks, but also prodigious amounts of swordplay. How surprising. Not.
While Miss Wang puts him through the grinder, the socialite soon recovers and heads home, entourage in tow. As fate would have it, Wang Feng quickly feels in need of some reciprocity: following a challenge from her senior, she must perfect a technique calling for the user's heart to be broken, and who better in achieving that than a guy giving Nicholas Tse whole marathons for his money? Once again into the fray, this time in HK proper. As the dashing womanizer crashes Ferraris around town and continues his skirt-chasing habits, our naïve mainland friend falls madly in love with him, impervious to all of his unscrupulous tricks. Even his evil girlfriend can't break Wang Feng's sturdy heart.
Gu Tian Le's ambiguous performance (we're not supposed to know whether he's sincere in hurting her or not) doesn't fly, you'll be hard pressed to even care. Sammi, while as likable as ever, stops short of salvaging this subpar experience. Devoid of any truly memorable laughs and pervaded by an air of ho-hum mediocrity, Johnnie To's latest is about as exciting as all-season antifreeze, no offense intended. There's so much room for brilliant, enlightening comedy in today's film industry, one can't help but question what motivates an accomplished craftsman such as To in his continuing parade of shambles. Here's to a swift recovery!
Rating: * *
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