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Year: 1994
Leon Lai and Veronica Yip
Director: Derek Chang Man-Gon, Siu Chung-Hon
Action: Tony Leung Siu-Hung
Cast: Leon Lai Ming, Veronica Yip Yuk-Hing, Chin Ho, Eric Kot Man-Fai, Jan Lam Hoi-Fung, Chan Lung, Daniel Jeremy
The Skinny: Hong Kong version of hit indie picture El Mariachi. While the film contains less action, the actual story and acting are beefed up considerably. Overall, you could do much worse. And it has Veronica Yip.
by Kozo:
     The Hong Kong ripoff of Robert Rodriguez's El Mariachi has a better plot, better acting, but is equal in terms of believablity. Leon Lai is the guitar-strumming traveler in Mexico who's mistaken for a Chinese hitman. He seeks refuge with Veronica Yip, who turns in the film's best performance as a bar owner who's mourning the loss of her brother. Sadly, the film's requisite evil bastard is out for the hitman's blood, and wants to marry the bar owner too.
     Is it too much to believe that there are two Chinese guys in Mexico carrying identical guitar cases? And that one of them is a hitman? And that the other guy looks like Leon Lai? If you can buy that iffy premise then this movie is for you. Fans of the original El Mariachi may be put off by the greater emphasis on romance rather than action, but when you cast Veronica Yip in a movie it's best to use her talents (and I'm not talking about the physical ones she's most famous for). Sadly, Eric Kot and Jan Lam also appear, and their usual shrill antics can annoy greatly. Less action is also a negative for El Mariachi thrill seekers, but on the whole the film turns out to be decent. The setting and camerawork complement each other nicely, and the filmmakers work the outlandish premise well. The whole exercise ultimately rings a bit hollow, but the ride isn't bad. (Kozo 1997)

image courtesy of Universe Laser & Video Co., Ltd. Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen