lot has changed in Hong Kong over the last twenty years or so, but it remains a
high-flying city. There is still plenty of exclusive partying going on and that
is good for Kam’s business—the oldest business. HK’s Happy Hooker turned Madam
adjusts with the times, but it is harder for the ambiguous love of her life in
Matt Chow’s Golden Chickensss (a.k.a.
Golden Chicken 3, trailer here), which screens
tomorrow on the first day of the 2014 New York Asian Film Festival.
has gone from labor to management, but she still not too snobby to do her share
of field work. After all, she still has her conspicuous assets. There are
younger madams out there, but she can work the phones and stroke a client’s ego
like the best of them. She will even take her girls on a field trip to Japan to
pick up some tips the world’s preeminent hummer expert. However, things start
to get serious when Brother Gordon is finally released from jail.
they were never a couple, per se, Brother Gordon had her back and there was
always a certain something between them. There is still a spark of something
between them. Unfortunately, the gangster does not understand how much Hong
Kong has changed. Kam tries to gently guide him towards a quieter life, but she
is afraid too stiff a shot of reality will hobble his spirit.
there are a lot of puns in Chickensss that
kill with Cantonese speakers, but are mostly lost on the rest of the world. On
the other hand, Sandra Ng’s chest prosthetics require absolutely no
translation. Would that be the costume designer’s responsibility or a special
effects artist? Regardless, they look impressively genuine (and you will be
fact, there is something relentlessly appealing about our indomitable heroine. Ng
is one of the few comedy specialists, who can effortlessly segue from physical
comedy to sultry naughtiness and then back to straight-up melodrama without
ever looking awkward or embarrassed. Not for nothing will she be the recipient
of this year’s NYAFF Star Asia Award (the Queen of Comedy edition). However,
most of her co-stars have trouble looking so classy when acting so goofy.
of looking uncomfortable, Brother Gordon is not exactly Nick Cheung’s best role
this year or even his greatest performance at this year’s NYAFF, but he sure
seems to be working a lot these days—and you have to respect that. There are a
host of in-joke cameos, including Ip Man’s
Donnie Yen spoofing his Grandmaster competition
(okay, that really was funny) and Louis Koo playing the lookalike gigolo
version of himself. As you would expect, there is a gorgeous ensemble cast
playing Kam’s employees (including Michelle Wai and Cantopop singers Fiona Sitt
and Ivana Wong), but they are not given much to do except look decorative.
if you do not get the jokes—or if you get them only too well—it is impossible
to dislike such an irrepressible, fabulously dressed film. After watching it,
you will have confidence the sun will definitely come out tomorrow in Hong
Kong. Upbeat and unapologetically horny, is largely recommended for Ng’s fans
looking for some broad comedy and a dash of nostalgia. It screens tomorrow
(6/27) and Tuesday (7/1) at the Walter Reade Theater as part of this year’s
NYAFF celebration of Sandra Ng.
Labels: Donnie Yen, Hong Kong Cinema, Louis Koo, Naughty films, Nick Cheung, NYAFF '14, Sandra Ng