STRONG GUYS (2004-HK)
review by Neo
Support the Site by Buying from YesAsia
they even strong looking???
Barbara Wong has been one of those new generation directors that has quickly soar up the A-list directors of HK, while she is not John Woo not Tsui Hark and not extreme like Fruit Chan, Barbara Wong has now all but firmly established her position as one of the best social and easy going type of comedy that is not totally formulaic or romantic but edging towards realistic. After the excellent fun in Six Floor: Truth or Dare, her follow up was just utterly crap in that Protege de Rose movie, and just as I though she is past her prime, she strikes again with the slightly uneven but immensely fun and heart felt social comedy in the identical title - Six Strong Guys. Yeah, as the title suggest this is a movie about 6 guys, but really if you want to be critical it is really mainly about 3 or 4 or even 2 as the focus. While being a female director, Wong is not totally feminist at all, as her focus in this movie is not so much females but males, call it a turn around, but I praise her portrayal of males he way it is reflected onscreen. Her director is the saving grace and along with the fun loving performances of several notable returns to the big screen - George Lam and Hacken Lee and along with great turns from Chapman To, Candy Lo and Karena Lam, this movie is the one comedy to watch this year.
This is how the story goes: by the way official summary again, not that I am lazy, but I don't like summarising movies: One full moon night, six urban professionals gather at the top floor of one of the most prestigious office towers in this bustling metropolis. They are going to jump off from the building. The suicide pact is thwarted in the end. News comes of pop diva Anita Mui's death, and the six men suddenly see the deeper meaning of life: it may be heroic to die, but staying alive can be even more heroic. They summon what is left of their courage. Once again they will look fate in the face. Almost instantly, their fate takes a dramatic turn. Once again, not a very good description, but nonetheless not wanting to spoil too much, so I better shut up. (not that there is anything to spoil though)
So what are you waiting for but go and watch the movie, but before you do this, since I am a film reviewer, you must read my review, wait a minute that is not very ethical. Well, reading my review today, the above two paragraph was written minutes after watch the movie late last night and this part is written the following afternoon when the reviewer is not in the best of mood, yes I watched this movie because I don't feel too happy, so did it cheer me up? Well, that's hard to say since I wouldn't call it as a movie that cheered me up, but one that allow me to escape from boredom for a good 2 hours. As you can see, there is a difference in my style of review from the first 2 paragraph and now, and that's I do not know why. Sorry, for blah along in this paragraph of total nonsense and totally non-related to the movie, but I just don't feel right at the moment. So just wipe out what I wrote in the last minute of so and I will walk back when I feel better in I dunno when and continue the review to give you guys my honest opinion. Sorry for that, and what the hell was I talking about anyway, well as Arnie would say: "I'll be back!"
There is clearly an essential reason as to why I enjoy writing reviews and has gone on to write more and more as the site continue to develop, and that is essential one reason, it enable me to say what I feel to an audience that appreciate and understand and know about or share for feelings for HK cinema. As in King Lear, in one of my favourable quote: "say what you feel not what you ought to say!" These reviews are essential just like that, while on surface I seems to be breaking every rule of professional reviews, personally, a review should not have any boundaries or particular style, but saying what the reviewer really feels. Okay, let's just get on with the review, as the last two paragraphs are probably the longest BS this site has ever seen. The performances of Chapman To is the one I particularly liked. Usually you either hate him or love him, but this movie he is not only not annoy, but performances in an almost leading role and is able to create himself as a likable character. Sure he was annoying in many notable movies, but he was just as great in Infernal Affairs and Colour of Truth. Here, I think is perhaps his best performance so far. On a side note, George Lam return is refreshing and funny and his acting is just funny and yeah funny. While Ekin Cheng sleep walk through this movie, Hacken Lee shows exactly why he is old but famous again, in a better performance than say his strings of crap movies in the early 90s. However, the worst and I will say crap is Andy Hui, who really hasn't impress me once by his acting. After being outshined by Karena and Angelica in Koma, Andy is outshined by all his male co-stars and his performance is just crap and the way he express his emotions is just utterly boring and uninspiring to watch. Yes I am not in a good mood today, but that doesn't mean that I just pan every actors who is not performing like Tony Leung, but Andy Hui in this movie is just pathetic.
So let's go to the other bright side and once again, Karena and Candy Lo impresses me again, first off, Karena just all but confirm that she is the most actress around and her voice combining her angel like face is just a beauty to watch. The way she acts and walk around is just like an idealistic girlfriend, but then again, life aren't like the movies, there is no such thing as perfect. Candy Lo continues to impress with her acting and unfortunately the two actress did not share much screen time, but a pairing of them will be good to watch.
So I have say before and again that I am a bullshit artist, so let's get to the point of whether this movie is in fact any good at all? Well, to me it is good, wait not just good, but perhaps, one of the better comedy of the year that isn't just a formulaic romantic comedy. Yup, it sure is a good near 2 hours fun to have, but don't just go in excepting comedy because there is a message behind it and more importantly it is quite heart felt as it reaches the end. But laugh or cry you won't go wrong either way as the material is not to be taken too seriously anyway, but then again who knows. So what more should I say, than just shut up and you should just go and watch the movie especially if you liked movies like Men Suddenly in Black and Truth or Dare. Alright, I should go off now, but on a very final note, I liked this movie.
I rate it 9/10
on this movie on HK Neo Reviews Forum
Product Title : Six Strong Guys
Artist Name(s) : |Hacken Lee| Chapman To | George Lam | Ekin Cheng
Language : Cantonese| Mandarin
Duration : 103 minutes
Reviewed by Andrew (Neo) - September 2004