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Too Many Ways to be No. 1
|     review    |     awards     |     availability     |
"Stop following me!"

From left to right: Lau Ching-Wan, Tsui Kam-Kong and Francis Ng
Year: 1997  
Director: Wai Ka-Fai  
Producer: Johnnie To Kei-Fung  
Cast: Lau Ching-Wan, Francis Ng Chun-Yu, Carman Lee Yeuk-Tung, Cheung Tat-Ming, Ruby Wong Cheuk-Ling, Tsui Kam-Kong, Joe Cheng Cho, Matthew Chow Hoi-Kwong
The Skinny: Wildly entertaining black comedy/triad picture that's both ambitious and effective. Simply one of the best movies of the year.
Review
by Kozo:
     This arty triad flick from Wai Ka-Fai and Johnnie To is as good as genre pictures get in this era. Lau Ching-Wan is Kau, a small potato in the triad world who must make a fateful decision to discover who he is. With that decision, his life can diverge in two paths, each leading to an ultimate fate. 
     Due to some narrative trickery, both options are explored in this film. The result is something truly interesting and entertaining. Kauís experiences are triad parodies of the most blackly comic kind. The motley crew assembled to carry out the crimes consists of a bunch of inept losers, played with appropriate histrionic flair by Francis Ng, Cheung Tat-Ming, Tsui Kam-Kong, Cheng Cho, and Matthew Chow. This is a world where hired killers canít drive and gaining ďfaceĒ is an absurdist comedy. 
     Aiding matters is the bizarre choices the filmmakers made. Scenes are distorted through fish-eye lenses, one entire sequence is shot upside-down, and the cinematography could easily be described as "vomit grain."  Frequently hilarious, this film isnít for everyone, but those who like black comedy should stand in line. Johnnie To & his crew have put out the best stuff this year (Lifeline, The Odd One Dies), breathing new life into HK genre flicks. Too Many Ways to Be No. 1 is pulp fiction, HK-style. 
(Kozo 1997)
Awards: 17th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards
• Nomination - Best Screenplay (Wai Ka-Fai, Matthew Chow Hoi-Kwong, Szeto Kam-Yuen)
• Nomination - Best Cinematography (Wong Wing)
• Nomination - Best Original Score (Wong Fung-Sin)
4th Annual Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards

• Recommended Film
Availability: DVD (Hong Hong)
Region 0 NTSC
New City Laser
Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
English and Chinese Subtitles
 
image courtesy of the Hong Kong Film Critics Society
   
 
 
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