WRESTLING RESTAURANT (2004-HK)
review by Neo
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This has been a surprising year and the cover of movies should never be taken as a judge to what a movie will be like - no matter how cheesy it is. As the old proverb goes 'never judge a book by its cover'. And so far this year, Love Battlefield remains one of the biggest shock. Alright, let's not get too hype up here, as while I loved that movie, this one I just liked it very much. One thing that I can probably boldly say, one of the better comedies of the year and in fact one of the best comedy of the year so far. It is one of those comedies that is without a single dull moment, despite being thin on plot, the extremely likable characters redeems that factor. Comedy has a different rating system than say a thriller or epic, as the most important thing is having a fun movie ride and being mindless, but not too mindless. Osaka is not what I call a perfect comedy, but one of the best of this year and a good thing is that it is not just another formulaic romantic comedy. Now that's refreshing!
Maybe it is just me, that like movies about how people go from being nobody to become great... one of the main reason I loved Stephen Chow movies and is my favourite form of comedy. I also liked the idea of combining martial arts with restaurant management. The thin but fun story goes like this: A slapstick comedy revolving around a set of characters found at a restaurant. There's the waiter who aspires to be a chef (Timmy Hung), a curmudgeonly boss (Law Kar-Ying), a henpecked husband (Wayne Lai) and a Japanese girl (Miki Ueno) who unwittingly gets mixed up in the madness.
This movie is marked by good direction from Tommy Lo and uses several unexpectedly techniques of blanking the screen out to create a rather postmodern effect but surprisingly works pretty well here. Obvious parody to Kill Bill 2 can easily be seen and Law Kar Ying is funny and hated at the same time in a rather laughable role. However, the performance of most interest is without doubt- Sammo Hung's son - Timmy Hung. While I have seen him act in a few TVB series and most recently Angel of Mission, he acting is not bad and not very good either, but he is a likable character. So, on the big screen probably (if I am not wrong) for the first time, Timmy did a great job, I reckon. However the highlight performance is the Japanese cutie, Miku Ueno who is a real eye candy and pretty face that I instantly liked very much. OKay I must admit her performance is nothing to be proud about, but the cuteness factor compensate that. Also, appearing is the increasingly welcomed - Wayne Lai who puts in another Wayne Lai performance. There are plenty of fun cameos - most notable either than Sam Lee and Gloria Yip is the father of Timmy - Sammo Hung. In a fun and cool cameo performance.
Overall, Osaka is a great comedy that blends Japanese style with HK style into a fun movie ride that doesn't have a single dull aspect. So what do I expect from a comedy, well the plot does not have to be great, thin does not matter as long as you can kind off relate to the character, romance is cute, underdog story used well, friendship/brotherhood, family, and even Japanese version of Throw Down. So what more do I needa say really? Well in fact without a further word I will conclude that Osaka Wrestling Restaurant was yet another surprise of the year, even though the ending might be silly, at least this is what I call a good comedy and it is quite refreshing to watch a comedy that isn't a romantic comedy based and for that very point - Osaka is a great way to kill out 90 minutes.
I rate it 9/10
on this movie on HK Neo Reviews Forum
Product Title : Osaka Wrestling Restaurant
Artist Name(s) : Timmy Hung Tin-Ming| Miku Ueno| Law Kar-Ying| Wayne Lai Yiu-Cheung| Gloria Yip| Sam Lee Chan-Sam| Carlo Ng Ka-Lok| Sammo Hung Kam-Bo
Language : Mandarin|Cantonese
Duration : 93 minutes
Reviewed by Neo (Andrew) - July 2004