Category Archives: Kimmy Tong

From Vegas to Macau 賭城風雲 (2014) – Hong Kong / China

Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA FIPRESCI
Review Date: 27th January 2013

Directed by: Wong Jing
Starring: Chow Yun-fat, Nicholas Tse, Chapman To, Jing Tian, Annie Wu, Kimmy Tong, Phillip Ng

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Let’s rejoice as we witness yet another good film from the infamous Wong Jing. In fact, director Wong Jing is on a winning streak of making quality Hong Kong cinema that he should be proud of. His latest action and gambling comedy reunion of sorts with the “God of Gamblers” – Chow Yun Fat is a good one and with one gag after another, easily making “From Vegas to Macau”, one of Wong Jing’s funniest film in years. With lavish production values and an A-list cast, long time Hong Kong cinema fans will likely embrace this one with both arms out. This is why when Wong Jing tries, he can still manage a few tricks and while some jokes are rehash of his former glory, you will probably give it to him for this one. In fact, the film is making waves around the world and online, even articles on sites like boomtownbingo.com/hamilton-park-racecourse/ are mentioning the rebirth of a style in this film. This is definitely not one to miss and potentially best enjoyed with a little gambling trip planned with your friends.

Chow Yun Fat headlines this film and returns to a genre that created a gambling craze around Hong Kong people in the early 90’s. Chow is an excellent dramatic actor, but he is equally wonderful as a comedian. His comic timing is always funny and goes a long way in providing the film with the light-hearted feeling from start to finish. Despite looking more like “Detective Conan” with his blue suit and hairdo, Chow have not lost his screen presence and simply steals the screen time as his costars Nicholse Tse and Chapman To roam along with him. I thought that there could be more character depth for Tse as his coolness and seriousness tended to feel of out place at times. Still, alongside comedic relief role of Chapman To, the two play off each other in quietly entertaining fashion and To showing that despite his recent leading fame, he has not lost any of his comic timing in a smaller role.

As usual a Wong Jing’s film cannot be completed without his usual hunger of flower vase roles. Kimmy Tong continues to appear and this time as Chow’s daughter and Tse’s love interest, and despite being sexy, she definitely needing more acting lessons. Jing Tian appears in yet another big Hong Kong and Chinese co-production (after sharing screen-time with Donnie Yen in “Special ID” and Jackie Chan in “Police Story 2013”). I am still yet to discover her attraction and while she manages to hold her own with iconic Hong Kong superstars, her lack of chemistry with Yen, Chan and now Chow leaves a lot to be desired. Rising action stars Phillip Ng does okay in a small undercover role, while Zhang Jun from his “Grandmasters” fame continue to be impress with his menacing look and kung fu chop. While the much missed Annie Wu (Donnie Yen’s “Ballistic Kiss”) makes an appearance.

What I really enjoyed about the latest Wong Jing’s adventure is the pure senseless fun of it, the expected jokes, the simplicity of how an otherwise serious or complicated situation gets resolved via a funny gag or “laugh out laugh” humor. While, Wong Jing inserted himself into the dialogue a few times too much, but he finally managed to realise that by not appearing on screen even for a short moment, actually made the film better. All in all, “From Vegas to Macau” is what senseless and mindless fun is about and while we are unlikely to feel nostalgic, long time Hong Kong cinema undoubtedly miss the gambling action comedy genre. Adding Chow Tun Fat to the mix, plus a half decent script and an actually trying Wong Jing, this is as good as it gets. Is this “God of Gamblers”? No, but this is good enough for now. (Neo 2014)

I rated it 8/10

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Princess and Seven Kung Fu Masters 笑功震武林 (2013) – Hong Kong / China

Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA
Review Date: 13th March 2013
In cinemas Hong Kong and China from 7th March 2013

Directed by: Wong Jing, Venus Keung
Starring: Ronald Cheng, Sandra Ng, Wong Cho Nam, Eric Tsang, Sammo Hung, Kimmy Tong

Hong Kong Box Office Takings: HK$3,184,910

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I don’t exactly know what is a bigger surprise, the world didn’t end in 2012 or Wong Jing have managed to pull off two good movies in a row. After the above average “The Last Tycoon”, prolific Wong Jing goes back to his comedic roots in the ridiculously titled “Princess and Seven Kung Fu Masters”. The good news is that this is Wong Jing’s funniest comedy in years and lest rejoice.

Packing a steady pack of veteran comedians in Ronald Cheng, Eric Tsang, Sandra Ng and Wong Cho Nam, the film already have the comic appeal and winning presence. What Wong Jing does well in this film is that he manages to put together some decent kung fu sequences (thanks to the sharp action choreography by Phillip Ng) and plenty of good kung fu prowess in Sammo Hung, Dennis To and Phillip Ng. The result is easily winning the audience attention through some truly funny gags and quality kung fu on display. It’s been long overdue, but Wong Jing finally deliver what he does and can do best, in making good commercial cinema.

This is really an ensemble cast performance. Ronald Cheng continues his good streak of form in yet another welcoming comic display. As usual, Sandra Ng is funny with a welcoming presence, Eric Tsang gets an extended role and is already wonderful to witness alongside longtime TVB partner in crime Wong Cho Nam. Sammo Hung flairs well with some good kung fu chops, as does up and coming martial artists Dennis To and Phillip Ng. As usual, what Wong Jing film can be completed without a flower glass and Kimmy Tong (who has been a regular in Wong Jing’s films for the past year) fits the bill without being demeaning.

All in all, I know I haven’t been the nicest of critics of Wong Jing in recent years, but as the old saying goes, you are only as good as your last film. Then Wong Jing career have seem to revive in both “The Last Tycoon” and now this film. Credit should always be given when due and this is no exception as “Princess and Seven Kung Fu Masters” is easily Wong Jing’s funniest and best comedy in years and a fine return to form. I don’t know how long this streak will last, but for the sake of the weeping and dwelling Hong Kong cinema fans, let’s hope that this is the beginning of a new chapter in Wong Jing turbulent career. (Neo 2013)

I rates it 7.5/10