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What a Wonderful World
Chinese: 奇異旅程之真心愛生命
Kenny Bee and Andy Lau
Year: 1996
Director: Samson Chiu Leung-Chun
Writer: Samson Chiu Leung-Chun
Cast: Andy Lau Tak-Wah, Kenny Bee (Chung Chun-To), Theresa Lee Yi-Hung, Louis Yuen Siu-Cheung, Paul Fonoroff, Kent Cheng Juk-Si
The Skinny: Overused plot devices and annoying supporting characters mar this otherwise thoughtful and affecting drama. Andy Lau and Theresa Lee turn in fine performances.
by Kozo:

Ten-hankie drama revisits a popular HK theme: the terminal disease. However, instead of the usual female cancer patient, we get Andy Lau as a reporter who’s due to check out soon. To compensate, he immerses himself in his work by tracking down investment banker Kenny Bee, who's wanted for some bad trading. Since he's got nothing left to lose, he volunteers to be Kenny's hostage, and from there they go on one of those "learning to appreciate life" journeys.

Hackneyed plot devices aside, the film works well thanks to a thoughtful (if not too existential) script, some stunning location photography, and some fine performances from Andy Lau and Theresa Lee. Lee plays Kenny Bee's prostitute ex-girlfriend, and though the character is a typical one (she's a wacky hooker with a uniquely positive worldview), her bouncy, winning performance is not. She's the discovery in this affecting, but somewhat overdone drama that's far from original.

However, what's left is remarkably solid, and the familiarity of the subject matter doesn't prevent the positive aspects of the film from coming through. There are some unfortunate subplots and supporting characters (Andy Lau's reporter rival Louis Yuen is a particular nuisance), but the overall whole of this film is worthwhile. Melodrama fans should be happy with Samson Chiu's work. (Kozo 1996)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
image courtesy of the Hong Kong Film Critics Society Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen