review by Neo

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Yet another cliché
Wong Jing loves to rip off the latest craze in HK culture, and with the rising popularity of the TVB’s Cooking Beauty series; it is only a matter of time before he just have to cash in. Sharing similar premises as the superior God of Cookery, Wong Jing have once again created a fully manufactured material. It is okay to not be original, but it is a dead sentence to be boring. The film starts off with a credible opening 40 minutes, but then it just drags on and drags with irrelevant events, before hooking up in a slightly better finale. In truth, it is still better than Kung Fu Mahjong 3, but it is still a far cry from a day, a couple of years ago, when the wanna-be shocked everyone with Colour of the Truth. There are occasional funny parts, but ultimately it struggles to be average and really was a struggle.

To be honest, Neo have never been a fan of TVB’s Charmaine Sheh, as there is an aspect of her namely her nose that clearly does not make her look pretty, but nonetheless she handles the paper thin role in a rather convincing manner. Then again, Sheh despite her flaws have always been a somewhat natural talent and one only requires viewing her body of TVB works before searching in agreement. As for Hacken Lee, he seems to appear here and there to provide his speciality of background music, rather than actual acting. His type of acting certainly doesn’t help the cause and probably resulting in a pretty much non-chemical relationship with Sheh. However, mainland newcomer Liu Yang shines through as the hot chick and perhaps more suited to the Chinese title of pretty chicks than the TVB actress. Perhaps the most surprising and also a comment Neo will later regret claiming, is that Wong Jing for once isn’t annoying and the fact that he acts stupid makes it far easier to believe in his character, even though it is pretty much a nothing role.
The movie goes like this: Beer girl and part-time model Ceci (Charmaine Sheh), born to a small-time loafer father (Wong Jing), has the most terrible cooking skills. She turns even instant noodles into something inedible. She meets and falls in love with wealthy SK (Hacken Lee), but his dominating mother (Bonnie Wong) disapproves of their relationship. To win over her future mother-in-law, Ceci must beat Jade (Liu Yang) in a gourmet showdown.
From the look of the above commentary, one might thing, this flick isn’t half bad, but it really is. Instead of attributing all the blame to the producer Wong Jing, one must also slap director Billy Chung in the face, as he resorts to cliché after cliché. Why must there be a crying scene filled with the backdrop of Hacken’s music. Just when you think it couldn’t get any worst, the scene is compounded with artificial raindrops. Sometimes, it makes you wonder, whether or not Wong Jing actually loves filmmaking or not. I should probably add – it is a rhetorical question.

All in all, it is yet another uninspiring entry into Wong Jing’s body of recent work. While it is better than Kung Fu Mahjong 3, it really isn’t that much better. However, the most frightening aspect of this flick is not the movie itself, but rather the potential of seeing future flicks with the names of The Lady Iron Chef 2 and 3. Then again, it may well be true as we should all remember the director that launched the Kung Fu Mahjong series – Billy Chung. There are some funny sequences, Sheh is a natural and Liu is just pretty, but the flick is far too frequently hampered by boring segments and criminal-run of clichés. It isn’t Wong Jing’s worst and it is difficult to see how it can be any better…

I rate it 5.25/10

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Starring: Charmaine Sheh Si-Man, Hacken Lee Hak-Kun, Yuen Qiu, Wong Jing, Liu Yang, Bonnie Wong Man-Wai, Cheung Tat-Ming, Yumiko Cheng Hei-Yi, Zuki Lee Si-Pui
Directed by: Billy Chung
Genre: Cooking, Comedy

Trailer/Short Clip: