Lost In Hong Kong(2015)
- RatedNC16 /GenreComedy
A follow-up to the Chinese blockbusters ‘Lost on Journey’ and ‘Lost in Thailand’, the standalone film 'Lost in Hong Kong' has Xu Zheng directing yet another problem-plagued trip.
The film has already earned US$107 million (S$153 million) in China over its opening weekend and looks to be a runaway hit.
The story opens with Xu Lai (Xu Zheng), an aspiring artist in an art school who tries to win the affections of Yang Yi (Du Juan). Despite many attempts, he never manages to even kiss her.
Later, he ends up marrying another woman Cai Bo (Vicki Zhao) and works as a bra designer for her father's firm.
While on holiday in Hong Kong, he tries to attend Yang's art exhibition and hopefully obtain that kiss, but he has to put up with his wife's clan.
To further complicate things, Xu's mapcap brother-in-law Cai Lala (Bao Bei'er) tags along to record everything he does. The two get entangled with some criminal types and end up getting chased by both policemen and criminals around Hong Kong.
The film is at its best when it goes into action-comedy mode, as the two male leads perform some wild stunts inspired by Jacky Chan.
However, there are some wild shifts in tone, particularly past the midway point, where Xu lets his feelings about his wife's family known and he finally manages to have some time alone with his first love, Yang. The scenes outlive their welcome, and one wishes that the plot would just move on. The women in the movie are merely foils for the two main actors, and come across as being two-dimensional.
The humour often misses its mark, and occasionally goes for cheap laughs, such as a sequence involving a helmet procured from one of HK director Wang Jing's film shoots.
And Xu is a little too fond of putting himself at the centre of the movie, even as his chemistry with Bao could be better.
With plenty of cameos from various Hong Kong celebrities of yesteryear and numerous references to other Hong Kong movies, including quite a few of Wong Kar Wai's, ‘Lost In Hong Kong’ might come across as a tribute to the city's cinematic history. But some might take offence at this massively popular Chinese movie franchise steamrolling into Hong Kong and repackaging some of its cinematic history.
When the film brings up '2046', which is both a reference to Wong’s film as well as the date when Hong Kong will no longer be a separate Administrative Region, there's a distinct touch of irony.
‘Lost in Hong Kong’ often follows the path of least resistance, playing safe while coating the film with a heavy dose of nostalgia. At the very least, it may make you look fondly at Hong Kong's golden era of filmmaking.
'Lost In Hong Kong' opens in cinemas 1 October 2015