ReviewWriter: Elaine EweWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
The “Happy Ghost” series
Fans of "Happy Ghost" rejoice, for a new movie that is inspired by "Happy Ghost", takes place in the world of "Happy Ghost", and stars the lead of "Happy Ghost", Raymond Wong is here. In fact, when translated to Cantonese "Magic To Win" is actually "Happy Magic".
From the start, it is evident that "Magic To Win" is a love labour of Raymond Wong. The movie bears similarities with "Happy Ghost", Wu Chun playing the spirit of a man who cannot be seen by others and Wong playing much the same character as he always does. However, the lead this time around is newcomer Karena Ng, who plays a free-spirited girl, Macy, who is drawn into the world of magic when an accident between her and her professor (Wong) resulted in the professor's powers being transferred to her.
Unfortunately, Karena is also the weakest member of the cast here. Despite having more facial expressions than Kristen Stewart, they come off as artificial and simulated. Perhaps it is the questionable and cheesy dialogue is to blame, but when actors such as Wong and Wu Jing can pull them off, you know it has something to do with charisma.
Clocking in at 102 minutes, "Magic To Win" should not have been painful to watch but at times it is. The comic scenes and jokes feel forced, which is made even more so with the clunky computer-generated imagery (CGI). The main problem with "Magic To Win" lies in its self-indulgent cinematography and over-written script. If narratives were to be summarised as a bell curve, beginning with the introduction, exposition, climax, and epilogue, the movie's graph would be drawn as a straight line. Everyone is important in the movie, yet nobody is really given any room for development.
Yet there remains much to enjoy in Wilson Yip's contemporary comedy, such as the choreography for the action scenes, culminating in an exciting climax, despite not having a reasonably valid purpose for them. The rest of the cast are also a delight to watch, especially Wu Chun, who serves as the eye candy of the movie, while Wu Jing is charismatic as the antagonist who not stop at anything to fulfil his goal. Other selected sequences such as the light-saber fight in the library, for example, or Macy's contention with Wu Chun, have enough wit to suggest that Wong might have achieved his goal of making fans and viewers happy.
The verdict, as it turns out, is that Wong and Yip's "Magic To Win" proves to be as flawed as it is ambitious. However, to its credit, the movie does not drag on, and despite everything, it is worth a watch if you have the time and money to spare, merely for the big-name stars, such as Taiwan heartthrob Wu Chun, comedian Wong, and its association with Yip of "SPL" and "Ip Man" fame.Cinema Online, 02 December 2011