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Once Upon a Time in Triad Society 2
  |     review    |     awards     |

Francis Ng
Year: 1996
Director: Cha Yuen-Yee
Cast: Francis Ng Chun-Yu, Roy Cheung Yiu-Yeung, Cheung Tat-Ming, Ada Choi Siu-Fun, Ivy Leung Si-Man, Angie Cheung Wai-Yi, Ha Ping, Ng Ting-Yip, Lee Kin-Yan, Peter Ngor Chi-Kwan, Samuel Leung Cheuk-Moon, Lam Chi-Sin
The Skinny: Incredibly entertaining and even affecting triad deconstruction comedy that boasts a terrific lead performance from Francis Ng.
by Kozo:
     Not actually a sequel, Once Upon a Time in Triad Society 2 nevertheless treads on all-too-familiar ground. Triad veteran Francis Ng plays a wimpy triad named Dagger, who talks big but has a huge yellow streak. He’d rather play mahjong, but he’s called to attend a potential gang fight. Official triad actor Roy Cheung is Dinosaur, a member of the rival triad (and friend of Dagger’s) whose faithful girlfriend (Ada Choi) tags along too much. And Cheung Tat-Ming is an Anti-Triad cop who tries to prevent the fight while attempting to save his marriage at the same time. As the designated time approaches, all these threads begin to move towards their resolutions—which can only happen when knife-fights finally break out in the streets.
     Director Cha Chuen-Yi effectively uses story and character to develop the film’s theme. This is an anti-triad movie, seeking to show the emotions and the absurdity at the heart of the triad lifestyle. Francis Ng’s standout performance as Dagger recalls George from Sexy and Dangerous, only his pathetic character is used to show something thematically deeper than simple comic relief. Cheung Tat-Ming is good in a non-wacky role, and Roy Cheung is surprisingly sympathetic. Ada Choi continues to impress, showing a surprising emotional range in a limited role.
     This is one the year's most surprising films, with unexpected performances, a great techno soundtrack and terrific style. The story structure demonstrates an amazing narrative dexterity; tensions build and the pace quickens with a heightening excitement. Between the Young and Dangerous movies and this film, Hong Kong Cinema has managed to move from the glorification to the deconstruction of the triad life in about eight months. Solid and entertaining, Once Upon a Time in Triad Society 2 turns out to be the best of the 1996 triad bonanza. 
(Kozo 1996)
Awards: 16th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards
• Nomination - Best Screenplay (Chung Gai-Cheung)

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