FUNG RESTAURANT (1990-HK)
review by Neo
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in average ex triad flick!
It is almost ironic to say that Stephen Chow in even a few months before All for the Winner had to play second fiddle to actors like Max Mok. In both Faithfully Yours and Lung Fung Restaurant it is exactly what Chow does. However, while Faithfully Yours, Mok outshines Chow (probably because he was dubbed - don't understand who would want to have Chow's voice dub except for Miramax), but here despite his limited screen time as supporting actor, Chow shows the eventual potential that will topple him to stardom. Don't get me wrong this is not a very good movie, but one extremely borderline average one, that I am so sure no one would have buy nowadays if not for the name Stephen Chow. One must be curious in wondering where the hell did Max Mok become after Chow became a superhero. Well, in the next few years, he was still wanted in the industry most notable starring in Once Upon a Time in China series with Jet Li, but after that effort it all goes downhill to eventually nowadays making B-movies. It is both a shame for someone whose starpower was once above Chow, and it is almost depressing to realise how low he is now, perhaps, it is "luck" that make Chow who he is today, but then again, he didn't had much talent.
The movie is basically about ex-triad, and how Max wants to get married but ended up in the mix of triad affairs. Yeah, you are right the plot is stupid, however, the best scenes of the movie is definite whenever Ng Man Tat and Chow is on screen, while they were not buddies than, the chemistry with the two is relatable. The movie also have some great romantic sequences, that are prolonged but still rather effective, and while Max and Ellen makes a good couple, their acting is another matter. Max as the lead, does not have the presence and is constantly overshadowed by Chow who almost just sleepwalk his role and still stands out. As for Ellen, display some sexiness, but does nothing more than tell us that she will eventually be a Cat 3 actress in a few years time. However, the movie is not actually totally bad and there are moments that shows true brotherhood and also the choice of being a triad and how a single miss opportunities can become something else. The ending is good and perhaps is what made the movie just average to watch showing that no one knows about what will happen in 5 years time.
Really this is what Neo calls an average movie, but actually it is only average because of Stephen Chow and as far as his 80s work is concern it is rated a huge par above the atrocious Thunder Cops 2, but then again, this was made in the 1990, a few months before the launching of Chow as a superstar in All for the Winner, it is interesting to see the transformation but it is also clear that from this movie, Chow deserves a chance as lead and lucky he was given the chance, or else we may still be watching Max Mok and Chow as his second fiddle.
I rate it 6/10
on this movie on HK Neo Reviews Forum
Director: Poon Man Kit
Cast: Stephen Chow, Max Mok, Ellen Chan, Ng Man Tat
Reviewed by Andrew (Neo), May 2005