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Conman in Tokyo
Chinese: 中華賭俠
Louis Koo is The Conman, Nick Cheung is not.
Year: 2000
Director: Ching Siu-Tung
Producer: Wong Jing
Cast: Louis Koo Tin-Lok, Nick Cheung Ka-Fai, Athena Chu Yan, Christy Chung Lai-Tai, Ben Lam Kwok-Bun, Yasuaki Kurata, Joe Cheng Cho, Leung Ka-Yan, Wong Tin-Lam, Zuki Lee Si-Pui
The Skinny: Nifty special effects and new stars (Louis Koo and Nick Cheung) add sparks but do little else to enliven this ever-popular staple of HK Cinema.
by Kozo:

As the millennium dawns, a new Gambling Hero arrives on the screen: Louis Koo. As Cool, Louis is the successor to Andy Lauís Knight of Gamblers, and he handles himself well, showing intensity and presence. Surprisingly, Nick Cheung is quite good as official sidekick Jersey. As for the movie, itís the typical mishmash of action and comedy, though the plot this time is especially predictable. 

Jersey is a wacky triad guy who hangs out in bowling alleys with his saucy girlfriend Christy Chung. On their vacation to Japan they run into Cool, whoís now a low-key restaurant owner. Jersey is dismayed that his idol is hawking sushi instead of making bank at the gambling tables. He vows to bring Cool back, but soon learns the true nature of Coolís self-imposed exile.

Cool is watching over his ex-girlfriend Yan (Athena Chu) whoís now married to his rival, the evil Lam Kwok-Bun. Yan is also a vegetable, thanks to a bullet meant for Cool at her wedding. Though Coolís guilt keeps him from returning to his gambling ways, he does eventually get dragged back thanks to the chicanery of his archenemy, as well as the pleas of Jersey and Japanese gambler Yasuaki Kurata. 

What this all means is absolutely zip, but the whole thing is fluffy fun and features a couple new twists to the tried-and-true formula. Cool has the amazing ability to use playing cards as weapons, and thanks to jazzy CG effects he wields cards like a ninja master. Still, that novelty can only last so long and when all is said and done, there isnít much here that hasnít been done before. Itís nice to see Ching Siu-Tung back behind the camera, though. (Kozo 2000)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Cantonese and Mandarin Language
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable Chinese and English Subtitles

photo courtesy of Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen