30 March 2020 | Movie-Misfit
Hilarious Adaptation With A Great Cast!!
Based on the 1945 British stage-play by J.B. Priestly, and getting its first feature film adaptation in over 50 years, writer Edmond Wong and producer/director Raymond Wong, bring a typically Hong Kong styled, slapstick and outrageous approach to social elitism!
Of course, Raymond Wong is joined in the directors chair by the great Herman Yau, who would join forces again a few years later for the fun-filled film, A Home With A View. Bringing a little more whackiness to this adaptation though, both films are equally as entertaining, with this one probably being just a tad funnier. It's like a crazy cocktail of Knives Out meets All's Well, End's Well '92 (also from Raymond Wong) with a Wes Anderson-directed feel to some of it. With Louis Koo's titular inspector coming across as a mix between Daniel Craig's character and Inspector Clouseau...
The film is based around the apparent suicide of one girl who, as it turns out, has been involved with every member of the opulent and crazy family. As things progress, and more guests arrive for their daughters engagement party, the film reveals just how much attention and care was put into the script as it ties in pretty much every character to the narrative, barely slowing down as the crazed inspector tries to solve his case.
One major thing that stood out for me was in the incredibly and lavish set design, bursting with colour, textures, and perfectly designed to make it one of the most gorgeous films I have seen in a long time. No expense is spared in making every shot stunning with some intricate sets, costume design and art direction - and it shows, with some scenes looking like they were shot on a stage in true theatre style. And that house is just friggin gorgeous!
Although the majority of these are real, a number of scenes (in particular flashbacks) are aided by some very impressive VFX and really add a wow factor to an already amazing looking film. It is amazing to think that, given the incredible example and achievement of CGI quality in this, director Jeff Lau couldn't have gained the same level of artistry to make his dire A Chinese Odyssey 3 (which came a year later), a bit more presentable...
Eric Tsang, Teresa Mo and Louis Koo are as fantastic as always, although in all honesty, everyone puts in a great comedy performance. Co-director and producer Raymond Wong plays a scene stealer squeezing in no less than 6 different roles (often hilarious), and if that wasn't enough, martial arts superstar Donnie Yen does his bit playing all 4 members of a band which is brilliant!
Overall: Wong and Yau's New Year comedy may not appeal to everyone, but I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it (especially the gorgeous Hans Zhang)...