Du Xia 1999
1998 / 107m - Hong Kong
The Conman poster


October 11, 2008


Jing Wong sure loves gambling. Not so much with his films, as he once again plays it pretty safe, but gambling is a topic that features so often in his film that he almost single-handedly created his own niche. It's a genre mix that's probably best experienced as it's a really odd blend of comedy, crime and fantasy gambling, but it sure makes for some decent entertainment.

The first (and longest) part of the film is a pretty straight-forward and somewhat surprisingly serious crime film. Not that it's particularly dark or anything, but Wong's usual farcical elements are mostly absent and Andy Lau is allowed to put his flair to good use. Some rather stylish scenes and proper pacing make for a fine first 80 minutes.

Then Wong himself makes an appearance and it's full-on slapstick after that. It's a pretty sudden turn in tone, it also comes quite unexpected and Wong's comedy isn't for everyone, personally I didn't really mind. Then again, I quite like Wong's goofy side. Definitely not a masterpiece, no Wong films really are, but at least it's good and proper fun from start to finish.