You may define your own banner on the settings page.
FilmsAsia: Asian film reviews
Soh Yun-Huei
Dave Chua
Brandon Wee
Wong Lung Hsiang
Felix Cheong
Foong Ngai Hoe
Adrian Sim
Chris Khoo
O Thiam Chin
Lau Chee Nien
Ambient Noise
Sarhan Rashid
Ying Wuen
Ellery Ngiam
Toh Hai Leong
Toh Hai Leong, Auteur
Wong Kar Wai
The Seduction of Wong Kar Wai
Tsai Ming Liang
Lav Diaz
Mikio Naruse
Leslie Cheung
Jonathan Foo Interview
Chinese Ghosts
Assassins in Asian FIlms
Sex in Asian Cinema
Erotic Cinema of the Shaw Studios
Homosexuality in Chinese Films
My Left Eye Sees Creativity
Hollywood Remakes
Comic Book Superheroes
One League of Social Consciousness
Emerging Trends in East Asian Cinema
Postwar Korean Cinema
Decline of Hong Kong Cinema before 1997
Rise of Afghan Films
Singapore's Mini Cinema
Creating A Singapore Cinema
Why Cinema is Important to Singapore
Singapore Film Industry
Rites of Passage
Replying to Critics
Daniel Yun Interview
Singapore International Film Festival
Bangkok International Film Festival
Tokyo International Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival
Writer's Block
All Tomorrow's Parties
And Also the Eclipse
Another Heaven
At Five in the Afternoon
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Bangkok Haunted
Barking Dogs Never Bite
Batang West Side
Battle Royale
Bear Hug
Beautiful Boxer
Beijing Rocks
Bend It Like Beckham
Best of Times
Betelnut Beauty
Big Durian
Big Shot's Funeral
Bird Man Tale
Blissfully Yours
Blue Kite
Bounce Ko Gals
Brighter Summer Day, A
Cafe Lumiere
Cat Returns
Chinese Odyssey 2002
City of Glass
City Sharks
Color of the Truth
Color Blossoms
Confucian Confusion
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Dark Water
Destination 9th Heaven
Divine Intervention
Double Vision
Dumlings: 3 Extremes
Enter the Phoenix
Era of Vampire, The
Eye, The
Eye 2, The
Eye 10, The
Fat Choy Spirit
Floating Weeds
Fog of War, The
Formula 17
Full Alert
Ghost in the Shell
God or Dog
Golden Chicken
Golden Chicken 2
Goodbye, Dragon Inn
Guru, The
Hana-Bi (Fireworks)
Harold and Kumar
Hidden Blade, The
House of Flying Daggers
House of Fury
House of Sand and Fog
Howl's Moving Castle
I Not Stupid
In the Mood for Love
Infernal Affairs
Infernal Affairs III
Innocence: Ghost in the Shell 2
Iron Ladies 2
Isle, The
Jan Dara
Jealousy is My Middle Name
Joint Security Area
Ju-On: The Grudge (2003)
July Rhapsody
Korban Fitnah
Kung Fu Hustle
Lan Yu
Last Life in the Universe
Last Samurai, The
Legend of Zu, The
Liang Po Po
Love Letter
Lucky Number
Marry a Rich Man
Me Thao
Medallion, The
Monrak Transistor
Moveable Feast, A
Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.
Musa the Warrior
My Left Eye Sees Ghosts
My Neighbors The Yamadas
My Sassy Girl
Naked Weapon
Name of a River, The
New Police Story
Nobody Knows
Nobody Knows How to be a Film Critic
One Leg Kicking
Perfect Blue
Phone, The
Ping Pong
Pirated Copy
Princess D
River, The
Road Home
Romance of Book and Sword
Runaway Pistol
S Diary
S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine
Scent of Green Papaya
Seoul Raiders
Seventeen Years
Shall We Dance?
Shanghai Knights
Shaolin Soccer
Singapore Gaga
Skywalk is Gone
So-Called Friends
So Close
Someone Special
Song of the Stork
Spider Forest
Spirited Away
Spring Summer Fall Winter Spring
Stories About Love
Storm Riders
Summer Holiday
Sumpah Pontianak
Super Size Me
Surprise Party
Swing Girls
Tale of Two Sisters, A
Tears of the Black Tiger
Teenage Textbook Movie
This Charming Girl
Three: Extremes
Tokyo Raiders
Touch, The
Tree, The
Truth or Dare
Twelve Storeys
Twenty-Four Eyes
Twins Effect
Twins Effect 2
Virgin Stripped Bare by her Bachelors
Visitor Q
Volcano High
Warriors of Heaven and Earth
Way Home, The
Welcome Back Mr McDonald
Wesley's Mysterious File
When I Fall In Love With Both
Wishing Stairs
Wolves Cry Under the Moon
Woman is the Future of Man
Women's Private Parts
World Without Thieves, A
Zombie Dog
A Time to Live A Time to Die
e-mail me

   Golden Chicken 2  


Golden Chicken 2

Reviewed by Soh Yun-Huei

Chinese Title: Gam gai 2
Director: Samson Chiu Leong Chun
Writing Credits: Samson Chiu Leong Chun, Matt Chow
Cast: Sandra Ng Kwan Yue, Jacky Cheung, Leon Lai, Andy Lau, Ronald Cheng, Dicky Cheung, Angelica Lee
Genre: Comedy
Country: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese
Year Released: 2003
Runtime: 102 min
Rating: ** ½ (out of four stars)

The Hong Kong film industry has never been able to exercise restraint, particularly to cash in on box office successes. Little wonder, then, that a sequel to one of the best HK movies of last year, Golden Chicken, was churned out in less than twelve months. To say that Golden Chicken 2 is a superfluous sequel is merely stating the obvious, but even such a film can be good, as long as it’s entertaining enough. However, Golden Chicken 2 barely passes muster Eit’s incoherently filmed and simply doesn’t have enough to say to justify its running time. However, Sandra Ng’s performance (her first won her the Golden Horse for Best Actress late last year) is still quite good, and it’s her alone that helps keep the movie relatively above water. Most of the time, anyway.

It’s the year 2046, and Hong Kong has become a prosperous, technologically advanced city, where everyone dresses in white and memories can be wiped simply by popping a pill. Ah Kum (Sandra Ng), the feisty woman that we saw in Golden Chicken, is now over 80 years old, and has left her prostituting days far behind. She chances upon a young man (Chapman To) attempting to erase his memory die to a bad breakup, and starts telling him her life story to stop him from doing something so foolish.

The story then flashes back to two periods in Ah Kum’s life Ethe first is set in 2003, where Ah Kum has to deal with a man (Ronald Cheng) who has been obsessed with body hair since his wife left him, and also befriend a doctor (Leon Lai) whose life has been affected by the outbreak of the SARS epidemic. The other period is that of the 1980s, where Ah Kum recounts the bittersweet romance between herself and her cousin, Sunny (Jacky Cheung), a man who seems obsessed with making money above all else.

The first film successfully married Ah Kum’s life story and resilience with the history of Hong Kong’s development over the decades, but this could obviously not be repeated a second time. Hence, all director Samson Chui has to work with this time is the SARS outbreak, which really isn’t enough material for half a movie. It also doesn’t help that two of the three subplots don’t really impress, in particular the one with the hair obsession coming across as very contrived and forced. There also seems to be a narrative gap, as a lot of plot threads feel unresolved at the end of the movie Epaving the way for Golden Chicken 3? I have reasons to suspect that is probably the case.

Although Golden Chicken 2’s narrative has its flaws, it also has its redeeming points. There are still some sentimental moments in the film, and these are the scenes where Sandra Ng’s acting skills really have a chance to shine. We may all be familiar with her slapstick performances, but in recent years Sandra Ng has shown an increasing propensity toward roles that require some dramatic acting talent. Ah Kum is a good mix of both, and even in the confines of a weak plot, she manages to acquit herself. The rest of the performances range from good (Jacky Cheung fleshes out his character well although I could have done without the squeaky voice he adopted) to plain mediocre (Ronald Cheng). The humour in Golden Chicken 2 is also not as consistent as the first movie, and whilst it does provide belly laughs sporadically (Dicky Cheung’s cameo is a blast), much of the humour is pretty limp. It’s thus plain to see that this sequel exists only because the first film made money, and one can only hope that there won’t be a Golden Chicken 3, which would presumably be even less palatable than this film.

Final Word: Doesn’t come close to the original, but Golden Chicken 2 is an okay diversion if you have two hours to spare.