Andy Lau easily keeps this afloat…
Review by Neo: It’s been a while since director Andrew Lau venture into something decent. His misguided Hollywood adventure in The Flock was largely disappointing and needless to say, anything since the success of Infernal Affairs has been far-fetched and largely ignored. Sometimes it really makes you wonder if all credits gained in directing Infernal Affairs are actually attributed to his co-director Alan Mak. So it is timely that Andrew Lau is starting to return to some form and even if it is decently just above average, it is better than nothing. Look for A Star is surely thin on plotline and in many ways seems to be relying on the charisma of its stars, think Andy Lau and the somewhat radiating presence of Shu Qi. So to actually call the film a success would simply be an overstatement, but the good news is that it is far from being a failure.
The film is basically a story about a rich guy meeting the poor girl who works at a Macau casino as well as late nights dancing in a small night club. Sure, it is formulaic, and those looking for originality should really look elsewhere. As mentioned before, the story is driven by the screen presence of its stars and it does help when you combine this with some fine supporting players in the likes of Denise Ho (as the work dedicated high management Office Lady) matching up with the poor jobless Mainlander (played by Zhang Han Yu). By now, I am guessing that you guys are probably starting to get the trend; Hong Kong is a social class conscience society and director Lau is simply trying to reinforce the message of mixing chemistry between higher and working class people.
Andy Lau as usual have great screen charisma and there is no doubting that the film is relying more on his star power to drive the movie along and also filling cinema seats at the same time. Lau plays his role to a certain degree of likability and exactly the sort of undemanding acting in most romantic comedies. In saying that Lau passes the grade and his chemistry with Shu Qi is much appreciated by the viewing audience. Likewise, Shu Qi has been gracing the screen for more than a good decade and she basically plays the same role as she did in Jackie Chan’s Gorgeous, a few years back. Here, she is once again likable enough for the audience to watch and her sheer sexiness is once again on display. Neo actually have a love and hate relationship with Shu Qi as sometimes she can really be annoying and in other times, she can be the best thing in a film. Luckily Shu Qi does well here and there is no further comment to be made. Adding on, Denise Ho does well in her role and sometimes you simply wonder who she does not attempt to act more often than just singing concentrated. Then again, the role is undemanding, but Ho does not disappoint either. The same can be said of the mainlander actor Zhang Han Yu, like the rest of the cast are all likable enough to make this a pretty smooth ride.
All in all, Look for A Star does not try to do too much, it is exactly the kind of film that every paying viewers would expect. Luckily, the film does not need to be something special, maybe it is the lunar New Year period or maybe it is simply just the idea of Andy Lau working around with his dozens of product placement, or even revoking Neo’s memories of visiting Macau Casinos not too long ago. The thing is, the film meets its expectation and at the end of the day, if the audience is satisfied, it will probably means more bums on seats. So is Look for a Star any good? To be perfectly honest, the story is decent and Andy Lau and Shu Qi are good enough to make Look For A Star just as per expectations… (Neo 2009)
I rate it 6.25/10