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Tony Leung Chiu-Wai,
Ching Wan Lau,
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Hong Kong cinema giants Derek Yee and Tsui Hark join forces in this 3D martial arts epic, about an elite swordsman who is haunted by his skill, and a challenger who aims to take his place at all costs.
Excuse me bartender, is this glass half-empty or half-full?
They say that the number one killer of movies is people's high expectations. For once I agree with the ever-nagging masses. And prior to viewing this film it's exactly what I did, I lowered my expectations by a few notches, even though the director here is no chop liver. "Why should I adjust my expectations for anything?" some of you might ask, I don't know, but would you rather be disappointed, again?
One of the film's reoccurring themes deals with the "phenomena" of drunk people, who say things that they either don't really mean or yelp things that they otherwise wouldn't dare say when sober. So we meet our designated love birds. Miriam plays a feisty beer server who coincidently doesn't get drunk easily. She, like everyone else has aspirations. Next comes Daniel Wu, a free spirited globetrotter with cooking credentials in French cuisine. He on the other hand gets drunk fast which helps him to meet Miriam, while puking and muttering (cohesively) in French, but I'm sure that he'll still somehow manage to resonate his on screen charms on his female fans. Doesn't take a brewer to figure out that the two will hit it off but what I found pleasant was that the turning point of their relationship wasn't dragged on and manipulated. I can't say that the two provided the best chemistry of romantic comedies, but at least they weren't at all annoying or cheesy. The enjoyably non-sleazy humor noticeable lessens halfway through the film which is as expected in this genre as the happy endings and the sad radio-friendly love songs playing over scenes like a music video.
There are other characters too you know. Notably Alex Fong and Vincent Kok, who could have easily over played their characters into complete wackiness, but instead provide a lukewarm shtick, which may leave some people yearning for more. The director does a right thing of not entirely replacing the humor with sappy romance fluff. The problems feel rather real although they also feel very light and unable of delivering a grand climax. That's where the bubble might burst for some of you due to high expectations.
Soon after, the evil woman shows up and for a few instances drives these characters apart. Again, nothing that we've never seen before. Jing Hu plays a spoiled restaurant entrepreneur, who likes to get things her way. She woos Daniel Wu's character (no pun intended) by lavishing him with gifts and a high profile job, but once again the direction strays from serious dramatic resolutions and instead keeps things playful and free of heavy consequences.
In the end I was entertained and not entirely let down yet not exactly satisfied with Drink, Drank, Drunk. I was able to avoid making comparison with the director's past work, mainly because this film didn't feel too contrived and maintained a linear plot albeit a harmless one. Just don't expect any ground-breaking textures and subtle humor here, but if you are looking for a routine romantic comedy with fine performances and a happy ending, then by all means give this a try. Considering how much worse romantic comedies turn out sometimes, this one did a fine job. But I think ultimately it comes down to whether you're a glass is half-empty or a glass is half-full type of a person.
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