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Mongkok Story
Year: 1996 "No, I don't wanna work with Anthony Wong!"
Edmond Leung
Director: Wilson Yip Wai-Shun
Producer: Wong Siu-Ming
Cast: Roy Cheung Yiu-Yeung, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Edmund Leung Hon-Man, Woody Chan Chin-Pang, Lok Tat-Wah, Michael Chan Wai-Man, Wong Chau-Hing, Choi Hiu-Yee
The Skinny: A young waiter joins a triad with a nice guy boss, and becomes involved in a war of retribution with a vicious bisexual gang leader whom they offend.
     Leung-Ping (Edmund Leung) is a nice-guy waiter in the Mongkok section of Hong Kong. His main flaw is that he's too friendly with triad rascals who eventually bring him into the business under boss Ching (Roy Cheung). Before too long, the young men get into a conflict with rival triad Lui Lone (Anthony Wong) and Leung is forced to perform oral sex on Brother Lone as penance. Of course, revenge is the only way to save face and the downward spiral of creative retributions begins.
     Mongkok Story is standard triad movie fare but it's enjoyable nonetheless. The performances of the lead actors save the film from it's own clichéd script. It's not surprising to see Roy Cheung and Anthony Wong playing triad bosses but they do it so well that it's fun to watch. Wong is particularly good as the scheming, bisexual movie actor/triad and Cheung is great as the benevolent Boss Ching.
     Midway through the film we learn that Leung-Ping has a crush on Ching's wife Nina (Choi Hiu-Yee), but that plot point is never brought to fruition, and is dropped as quickly as it was raised. Perhaps further exploration would have made Leung-Ping a more interesting protagonist. As it stands, he's pretty one-dimensional, leaving Boss Ching and Brother Lone with all the interesting dialogue and action.
     The film's ending is nothing we haven't seen before, but it's well-directed and satisfying just the same. Fans of the leading actors will undoubtedly want to check out Mongkok Story. For everyone else, there are better triad films out there. (Magicvoice 2003)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Universe Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of The Hong Kong Film Critics Society Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen