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It's Now or Never
Year: 1992
Alfred Cheung and Cheung Man
Director: Louis Chan Kwok-Hei
Cast: Ng Man-Tat, Cheung Man, Alfred Cheung Kin-Ting, Cynthia Khan, Rain Lau Yuk-Tsui, Pauline Chan Bo-Lin, Bowie Lam Bo-Yi, Elaine Ng Yi-Lei
The Skinny: Possibly the greatest Cheung Man film ever.
by Kozo:
     This underrated black comedy takes place in HK circa 1960-something. Ng Man-Tat is an aging gigolo with two rebellious daughters, the tough, older Rose (Cheung Man) and foul-mouthed, younger Tracy (Rain Lau). Rose spends her time losing jobs thanks to her attitude and cruising with her friends. Among her pals is Little Bun (Cynthia Khan), a dependent guy-chaser who fakes her way out of tough situations by pretending to know Kung-Fu (the “Eagle-Claw” stance, to be specific).
     Tat is in trouble; he owes money to sleazy underworld types, and his prospects (unattractive aging females) are not good. Meanwhile, Rose antagonizes a female cop, and they begin a bizarre feud, attempting to one-up each other with embarrassing practical jokes. Along the way, she meets Shing (Alfred Cheung), a nerdy cop who’s fallen for her.
     Things get worse: Tracy is caught dealing pills at school, Little Bun hooks up with a bag-of-crap masquerading as a man (Bowie Lam), and Tat’s underworld debtors come-a-calling. Amazingly, all these repulsive people and situations are handled well, with humor, cynicism, and occasionally appropriate sentiment. Watching this dysfunctional family attempt to function in their home and in society is a hoot of the highest order. Also, you gotta love the music and the hairstyles. It’s all very trashy, but dazzlingly so. An entertaining and different Hong Kong film. (Kozo 1996)

image courtesy of Mei Ah Laser Disc Co., Ltd.

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