review by Neo

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Michael and Ricky as Duck and Chicken...
Michael Hui, Sam Hui and Ricky Hui, the triumvirate, is what Caesar, Pompey and Crassus were to Rome, they were to HK cinema in the 1970s. Without them, Cantonese cinema would have been down the shit hole. They saved Cantonese cinema in a fashion that was never before seen and the manner in which they satirise HK society in a manner that is still relevant in terms of humor today. Let me trace back a bit of history about this film, it was so acclaimed at the time that it was shown at a Cinetex International Comedy Film Festival in 1989 in Las Vegas in which Michael not surprisingly was awarded the Best Actor Award. While this film is basically Ricky and Michael, Sam does make a cameo appearance in an ironic manner which you will feel as you watch it. This without doubt a movie that may well turn you off eating or buying roast duck again, well at least for today's dinner after watching the opening 20 minutes.

The story goes like this: Michael plays the character Ah Hui who runs a traditional Hong Kong style BBQ duck shop. His business drops drastically when "Danny Chicken", a fast food store opens just the opposite to his. Ah Hui decides to take revenge on Danny Chicken, at all costs and by all means...

Yes, the plot is simple, but that's not the point, as the issues that are raised are so obvious yet to absolutely hilarious to watch. Perhaps, that because I have always been a fan of the Hui Brothers ever since the Private Eyes, where there are some scenes I still vividly remember even though I watched it so many years ago. His physical comedy is more natural than most in the west and his overall comedy is probably in Neo's honest opinion even better than the current King of Comedy - Stephen Chow. Both are genius, as they can write, produce and direct and also act, but no one can forget what Hui did to HK cinema, as most people remember, Stephen Chow as the one who started it all, but it is really Michael Hui that created the genre and make it so appealing to the masses. While 70s, most people remember one big international famous star in Bruce Lee, right after his death, there was Michael Hui, the one that brought people back to the cinemas like an annual event (This was told to me by my dad, saying how every year there was two main movie event, one was James Bond, the other was the Hui Brothers).

Surely this is no longer the 70s or 80s, but the humor is so HK style that it remains very relevant even today. Surely some rare jokes are dated, but the overall picture is worth a look at. Those fans of Wong Jing comedy nowadays should surely go to the nearest DVD shop and pick up any Michael Hui movie and slap themselves in the face afterwards, as this is what comedy really is. The movie also expresses about traditional vs the new age. That like today, it is all about packaging, even if your food is the best, people are very superficial and would rather be attracted to a good outside look of a shop than a dirty old traditional duck shop. It is basically a battle between say, the Chinese roast duck and the KFC. Therefore it is ultimately important to adapt and willingness to change that will keep you in the race in such a highly commercial world in HK nowadays. Michael Hui is an everyday man, and it is where it sets him apart from all those teen idols with good looks nowadays, he is witty, funny, full of facial expressions, and more important he knows what the meaning of comedy is. Nowadays, Hui is making a comeback and geez he will be welcomed by me, while last year Three of a Kind was a but of a disappointment, I am sure that if Hui gets another chance at directing, things will turn around and maybe, like my dad in his early years, there will be another annual movie event to go to...

I rate it 9/10

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Genre: Comedy
Director: Clifford Ko
Cast: Michael Hui, Ricky Hui, Paula Tsui, Samuel Hui
Reviewed by Andrew (Neo), June 2005