Movie Details
POKER KING

POKER KING

Randy (Louis Koo) has never been a fan of his family's casino business. This changes when one day he gets a taste of Texas Hold 'Em Poker over the Internet. It's a game of luck, skills and wits. Once Randy is deemed unfit to handle the conglomerate, Uno (Lau Ching Wan) can then fully assume the position and take over the business for himself. Uno gives Randy a chance at redemption - a winner-takes-all poker match between the two.

Language: Cantonese
Subtitle: Na
Classification: PG13
General Release Date: 29 Oct 2009
Genre: Comedy
Running Time: 2 Hours 2 Minutes
Distributor: GOLDEN SCREEN CINEMAS
Cast: Lau Ching Wan, Louis Koo, Stephy Tang, Cherrie Ying, Josie Ho, Jo Koo
Director: Chan Hing Ka
Format: NA



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Review
Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

Writer Ratings:
Overall: 2.5 Out of 5
Cast: 2.5 Out of 5
Plot: 1.5 Out of 5
Effects: 3.0 Out of 5
Cinematography: 3.0 Out of 5

Watch this if you liked: “Croupier”, “Rounders”, “Kung Fu Mahjong”, “21”

Watch the first and last 10 minutes of "Poker King" - but not the long 100 in between. That's because the lavish Macau-set project boasts such high production values and yet can't put a decent story to a movie that could've at least pretended to be better than standard Wong Jing fare for the gambling genre.

We get a completely unconvincing hodgepodge of a plot with bizarre character development, starting off with Louis Koo as a math genius who goes through a compendium of personalities, ranging from camp, geeky and almost gay to over-confident, rude and suave - all within the same movie. He's pitched against a gaming kingpin named Uno (Lau Ching Wan) who is unbelievably and unnecessarily stuck in a tug-of-war for the casino conglomerate with the math genius. More ridiculous storytelling comes by way of inconsequential romantic interludes involving an unlucky drifter named Smiley (Stephy Tang), a low-life biscuit maker (boyband actor Wong Yau Nam), a sexy female bodyguard (Jolene Kuk) and a poker player turned secretary (Cherrie Ying). Let's not forget Josie Ho's baffling role either, as a rival gaming boss who sleeps with Uno for no ascertainable reason whatsoever.

So jarring is this adventure that it won't be surprising if you were told this movie was written by 30 people, each contributing a different page for the screenplay. By the time we have the customary poker match finale, it's a little too late for us to care. Whatever aces "Poker King" was holding before its general release, it's not unfair to say that the only straight flush we're looking at is one at the cinema toilet. There goes a stinker.


Cinema Online, 28 October 2009

 
 
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