A master gambler loses his memory, and is befriended by a street hustler who discovers his supernatural gambling abilities.
Do San (the God of gamblers) is a legendary gambler helped by his supernatural abilities. He undertakes to help a friend pay a debt by beating his friend's advisory at the card table. Despite being assigned a bodyguard Do San has a freak accident which leaves him with partial memory loss and at a mental stage of a child. The small time hustler Knife, his side-kick and his girl friend, being responsible for the accident takes care of the retarded Do San. After some time they discover that he has not lost all of his powers and takes him on a round at the local gambling halls. After being chased by both Knife's loan-shark and enemies closer to the home of Do San, a final showdown at the card tables may take place.
If you like action movies, this film is for you. If you like gentle comedy, this film is also for you. If you've only seen Chow Yun-Fat playing suave, "hard boiled" killers this film is *definitely* one you should see. Breathtaking action sequences pepper a sweet plot about the triumph of innocence over arrogance and the power of love and friendship.
Plus you get to see Chow Yun-Fat walking around with Mickey Mouse balloons.
5 stars out of 5. One of my favorite HK comedies. Chow Yun Fat is one of the coolest actors to have ever come out of Hong Kong cinema, his roles in films like The Seventh Curse, A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, City on Fire, and Tiger on the Beat establishing the actor as the Chinese equivalent of Clint Eastwood, Cary Grant, Harrison Ford, Charles Bronson, and Robert De Niro all rolled into one. God of Gamblers looks set to continue this tradition, introducing Chow as Ko Chun, a suave, sophisticated gambler who has a seemingly supernatural ability to beat the odds, much to the chagrin of various underworld types.
All seems set for another Chow classic until writer/director Wong Jing decides to try out a little role reversal with his star, staging an accident that turns his super-smooth character into an irritating childish simpleton, a combination of Forrest Gump, Simple Jack from Tropic Thunder and Dustin Hoffman's character from Rain Man (a film that Wong Jing seems to have taken just a little 'inspiration' from); at this point God of Gamblers becomes a far less enjoyable affair, the sight of one of Hong Kong's most iconic actors bawling like a child and continuously stuffing chocolate in his mouth not nearly as much fun as him cutting a swathe through Triad baddies with guns a-blazing.
A wonderfully staged and extremely violent shootout between a confused Ko Chun and a gang of criminals briefly reminds fans of what they are missing, but it's the only decent scene in this otherwise rather boring and not-in-the-least-bit-funny caper. The only other thing about the film worthy of any praise is the lovely Joey Wong, who plays Jane, girlfriend of Little Knife (Andy Lau), the small-time hustler who takes advantage of the mentally challenged Chow: Wong wears some iffy late-'80s fashion but still manages to look fabulous throughout.
Rather incredibly, this film was a massive hit on its home turf, spawning several sequels, and seems to have a pretty strong worldwide following judging by its high IMDb rating; I don't get the appeal, but then I never understood what was so great about Forrest Gump either—I guess imbeciles just aren't my thing.
4.5 out of 10, generously rounded up to 5 for the (implied) necrophilia scene, which at least caught me off-guard. 646f9e108c
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