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The Loser's Club

Francis Ng acts loony for ratings in The Loser's Club

Chinese: 廢柴同盟  
Year: 2001
Director: Patrick Yau Tat-Chi
Cast: Francis Ng Chun-Yu, Eric Tsang Chi-Wai, Maggie Siu Mei-Kei, Ruby Wong Cheuk-Ling, Lo Hoi-Pang, Michael Tse Tin-Wah
The Skinny: Offbeat media satire from director-in-exile Patrick Yau has a few good barbs, but proves too muddled and self-congratulating to be effective.
by Kozo:

Eric Tsang is Nam, a smalltime producer at Channel 1 who's eager for the success of his younger years. Seeing an opportunity in the flamboyant antics of  washed-up, third-grade singer Kenny (Francis Ng), Nam decides to promote his old friend to gain public awareness and support. Kenny's loony stunts and bizarre diva-like behavior make him the talk of the town, and with Nam in tow, the two dominate the airwaves. Soon they're called upon to headline the big New Year's show. However, circumstances occur that force program manager Yiu (Maggie Siu) to ask that Kenny be removed from the program. Will Nam betray his friend or stand up to management and give Kenny center stage?

The bottom line of this bizarre comedy is a tried-and-true question: would you sell your soul to gain fame and fortune? That's the essential crux of this media satire from director Patrick Yau (Expect the Unexpected, The Longest Nite). The results are mixed, however. Yau makes the audience work a bit too hard in understanding the primary conflicts. And worse, he expects us to see the massive importance of all of this. As a media satire the film has some merit, but it sinks into too much slow-mo and buddy-buddy clinches that are supposed to be touching.

The actors acquit themselves well, and extra special credit must be given to Francis Ng for his bizarre turn as Kenny. Ng plays Kenny as sort of a professional performance artist, whose goal is not just to steal the spotlight but to work some sort of a transcendent media miracle. In Yau's mixed-up media world, these anti-heroes can hit the big time and still retain their souls. That's a great ending for a movie, but it's also a bit like having your cake and eating it, too. (Kozo 2002)

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

image courtesy of Chinastar Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen