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From Vegas to Macau III

From Vegas to Macau 3

Chow Yun-Fat and Carina Lau in From Vegas to Macau III.

AKA: The Man from Macau III
Chinese: 賭城風雲III
Year: 2016
Director: Wong Jing, Andrew Lau Wai-Keung, Billy Chung Siu-Hung
Producer: Andrew Lau Wai-Keung, Connie Wong Nga-Lam
Writer: Wong Jing, Ronald Chan
Action: Lee Tat-Chiu

Chow Yun-Fat, Andy Lau Tak-Wah, Nick Cheung Ka-Fai, Li Yuchun, Carina Lau Ka-Ling, Jacky Cheung Hok-Yau, Jacky Heung Cho, Charles Heung Wah-Keung, Michelle Hu, Shawn Yue, Kimmy Tong Fei, Law Kar-Ying, PSY, Lo Hoi-Pang, Yuen Qiu, David Chiang, Philip Keung Ho-Man, Elena Kong Mei-Yi, Jacqueline Chong Si-Man, Derek Tsang Kwok-Cheung, May Chan Ka-Kai, Anita Chui. King Kong, Tony Ho Wah-Chiu, Maria Cordero, Ng Chi-Hung, Siu Fei, Hanjin Tan

  The Skinny: The addition of Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung and more God of Gamblers connections may raise expectations for From Vegas to Macau III, but the actual film disappoints. Hard. A lazy, smug and interminable experience from Wong Jing and Andrew Lau, THE CO-DIRECTOR OF INFERNAL AFFAIRS.
by Kozo:

Given the first two films in the series, expectations for From Vegas to Macau III should be at rock-bottom. But you know what – lower them even further because Vegas III is the biggest, most expensive, most star-packed and also the absolute worst in the series. True, Lunar New Year films are famous for being intentionally bad but this latest Wong Jing + Chow Yun-Fat collaboration seems to trample on audience goodwill with unabashed glee. Also, the movie is far too confined. The story keeps to only a few closed sets for long stretches of time, with almost no scenes taking place outdoors. All of this was probably a concession to keep all the stars in one place and to accommodate their travel and schedules – oh the difficulties of big-budget film production! The result is lots of shtick in large rooms with high ceilings, featuring the actors sitting around trading quips until someone reacts in an exaggerated and unfunny manner. Yes, this is basically From Vegas to Macau: The Sitcom, though even a television broadcast might be too lofty a showcase for this film.

Chow returns as Magic Hand Ken, the Macau gambler who for some reason gets involved with international terrorist plots because he happens to be good at cards. At the wedding of Ken’s daughter Rainbow (Kimmy Tong) and protégé Vincent (Shawn Yue), the evil JC (Jacky Cheung) sets off a bomb, putting Rainbow and Vincent in the hospital and Ken in a bad mood. That is, Ken would be in a bad mood if he weren’t already half-mental thanks to nonsensical “hypnosis” administered by pal Mark (Nick Cheung, returning from Vegas II), which turns him into a blithering idiot who can't sit still for three seconds without attempting some form of comedy. After a contrived scene involving Interpol, Ken and Mark are imprisoned for the sole purpose of riffing on Chow Yun-Fat’s Prison on Fire movies, complete with a musical number and an appearance by Maria Cordero, who sang the theme song to the original POF. Afterwards, the entire gang moves to the spacious Singapore home of God of Gamblers protégé Dagger (Andy Lau, called "Michael Chan" in the subtitles) to pad out the running time until a routine action finale.

From Vegas to Macau III earned some pre-release buzz for its God of Gamblers connections but the filmmakers don’t reward fans of the classic film franchise. Chow Yun-Fat also appears in Vegas III as Ko Chun, the legendary God of Gamblers, but neither he nor Andy Lau's Dagger are used meaningfully. Instead, the story is mostly concerned with a love triangle involving Ken, his old flame Molly (Carina Lau, returning from Vegas II) and JC, who lusts after Molly with the power of a thousand suns. This leads to routine pathos that proves oddly more effective than the gambling action, which is nonsensical, brief and disappointing. Meanwhile, a romantic subplot between Nick Cheung and Li Yuchun, playing Dagger's gun-toting partner Kitty, is an epic monument to cringe. Worst of all is the interminable and embarrassing antics of Ken's robot butler Stupido and a female robot named Skinny. Presumably these elements charm some audiences but I'm guessing they're well in the minority. By the way, From Vegas to Macau III was co-directed by Wong Jing and Andrew Lau – yes, the Andrew Lau of Infernal Affairs fame. Your tears are their milkshake.

Some fan service may satiate certain demographics. Charles Heung gets a cameo as his God of Gamblers character, his son Jacky Heung performs the action scenes, and Law Kar-Ying riffs on his “Only You” gag from A Chinese Odyssey. Also, Andy Lau must battle a whole room full of Andy Lau robots – obvious heaven for a certain fan club – and "Gangnam Style" sensation PSY shows up in an amusingly smarmy cameo. Performances are largely disappointing, however, with nearly the entire cast acting far too self-amused. Between hideous bouts of mugging, Chow Yun-Fat sometimes shows gravitas while Jacky Cheung at least stays in character as intense terrorist-gambler-arms dealer JC. Otherwise, I got nothing – this movie is outdated, lazy and interminable. There was talk that Hong Kongers should boycott From Vegas to Macau III to protest Wong Jing's pro-China stance but that sentiment is misplaced. Local moviegoers gave up on HK film years ago so it's not like their lack of box office spending is a new thing. But if you actually paid money to see From Vegas to Macau III? A protest or refund demand would be perfectly understandable. (Kozo, 3/2016)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Deltamac (HK)
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc
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