Movie Details
I Love Hong Kong 2013

I Love Hong Kong 2013

Eric Tsang and stars are back with another "I Love Hong Kong" franchise this Chinese New Year with a story that is set in the 1970s, a decade of economic growth and prosperity for Hong Kong and the citizens. The young and naive Sung Chi Hung (Bosco Wong) meets the cunning Ha Shek Lam (Michael Tse), who introduces him to a job at a Chinese restaurant. Both of them fall in love with the restaurant owner's daughter Yeung Yeung (Kate Tsui). On the other hand, Yeung Yeung's best friend Chu Yuk Yuen (Joyce Cheng) is willing to do anything to attract her crush Shek Lam's attention. After many years, Chi Hung has aged with his wife and already become the owner of the old restaurant. However, they must face Shek Lam, who wants to purchase their restaurant for his own financial interest. Under the helpless situation, the couple turns to seek for help from the Chinese Angel (Eric Tsang).

Language: Cantonese
Subtitle: Na
Classification: U
General Release Date: 10 Feb 2013
Genre: Comedy
Running Time: 1 Hour 38 Minutes
Distributor: GSC MOVIES
Cast: Eric Tsang, Alan Tam, Bosco Wong, Michael Tse, Kate Tsui, Joyce Cheng
Director: Chung Shu Kai
Format: 35MM, 2D


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Review
Writer: Wilson Chong

Writer Ratings:
Overall: 4.0 Out of 5
Cast: 5.0 Out of 5
Plot: 5.0 Out of 5
Effects: 3.0 Out of 5
Cinematography: 3.0 Out of 5

Watch this if you liked: “A Wonderful Life” and “I Love Hong Kong 2011”

Every Chinese New Year is not complete without a Chinese New Year film. It could be a Jackie Chan film, a Stephen Chow movie, a Taiwanese love-story or a Hong Kong feel-good film. This year, movie fans are spoiled for choice because many Chinese New Year-themed films are released in the cinemas in time for the celebration.

Many fans of TVB drama series will love the latest film offered by Hong Kong, "I Love Hong Kong 2013" because of the huge and famous cast. The film is directed by Chung Shu Kai and stars Alan Tam, Veronica Yip, Eric Tsang, Nat Chan, Stanley Fung, Wong Cho-lam, Tin Kai-Man, Benz Hui, Bosco Wong, Michael Tse (more popularly known as Laughing Gor, his role in a gangster drama series), Kate Tsui (Miss Hong Kong pageant 2004 winner) and Joyce Cheng (daughter of the late Lydia Shum and Adam Cheng). It is the third film in the "I Love Hong Kong" series.

The story starts off with the restaurant owned by Sung Chi Hung, a favourite place of the neighbourhood because of its cheap price. Sung Chi Hung likes to help people in trouble and this, in turn, got himself into trouble. He became a guarantor for one of the restaurants ex-worker and he ran away, leaving Sung Chi Hung with a huge debt. All his bank accounts are frozen as a result. After the bank came to notify him, his family tried to persuade him to sell the restaurant. He refused to sell but was tricked into selling it by his old friend and nemesis, Ha Shek Lam. He tried to commit suicide but was stopped in time by an angel. He begins to reminisce his past in the 1970s. His recollections include a few historical facts of Hong Kong's past.

The plot of this story is slightly adapted and localized from the film "A Wonderful Life" (1946). The formula of suicidal-good-guy-met-an-angel-and-got-shown-how-life-would-be-if-he-wasn't-born is a good formula. This film has localized the formula to modern Hong Kong context and even managed to breath in new life with the plot twists. The original film, "A Wonderful Life", is not widely known among today's Asian cinemagoers.

The chemistry between the stars flows very well. You can see that each actor and actress is in their own element. The emotion expressed on each actor's face is humorous enough to fill the cinema with laughter. One explanation for this could be each actor is a veteran and had worked before with each other numerous times before this film. There are a huge number of fans for just one of the veteran actors. The combined number of fans can easily surpass one million.

There are many heart-warming scenes in this film. But no matter how much tears are shed, blood is spilled and songs are sung in this movie, the best scene is the steaming hot 'wantan' (Chinese dumpling) swallowing scene acted by Joyce Cheng.

Great attention to detail is given to the construction of the 1970s surrounding and clothes. The cinema, coffee shop and restaurant each have the proper look of that era. Even the actors' clothes and hairstyles match the 1970s fashion trends.

There are minimal special effects used for this movie. The special effects are used to display the Angel (Eric Tsang) powers. No large-scale animation or green screen like the movie "Avatar" was used for this family comedy film.

A few jokes in the film are in reference to a Cantonese speaker trying to learn the English language. These scenes are best enjoyed by speakers of both Cantonese and English. English words are given Cantonese meanings because they sound similar. The joke loses its quality written and translated compared to its original oral form. However, this is just a minor scene and it will not spoil the entire film even if you do not understand it.

In conclusion, if you just want to watch a Chinese New Year comedy, "I Love Hong Kong 2013" is a good choice. Viewers might just learn a thing or two after watching the movie too.

Cinema Online, 07 February 2013
   

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