After five years and (presumably)
numerous phone calls, Wong Jing corralled Chow Yun-Fat
back for one of his best roles: Ko Chun, the God of
Gamblers. In this long-awaited sequel, Ko Chun is now
living in France with his pregnant wife (Cheung Man).
However, the usual evil bad guys show up led by Wu Xing-Guo,
and (spoiler ahead!) they challenge Ko Chun by killing
his wife and leaving her unborn fetus in a jar. And
that’s just in the first ten minutes.
Naturally, Ko seeks revenge,
but only after a year has passed. While vacationing
in Taiwan, he hooks up with kung-fu kid Xie Miao after
Miao’s dad Blacky Ko Sau-Leung bites it. Then more stars
hop on board, including Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Wu Chien-Lien
(of Eat Drink Man Woman fame), and Chingmy Yau
as a Taiwanese femme fatale. They band together to take
down Wu Xing-Guo, who’s become even more menacing in
that buzz cut, sneering kind of way. And there's lots
of hijinks and silly gags courtesy of Wong Jing.
In comparison to the first,
this sequel isn't as novel or surprising. The film's
polished look makes its low-brow comedy and crass commercialism
seems cheap and cheesy. The jokes are more nonsensical
than the first film, and 80% of the cast play "wacky"
characters. Thankfully, Chow Yun-Fat is around to carry
the picture, and his chemistry with Wu Chien-Lien helps
the obligatory romantic subplot of the film. Tony Leung
Ka-Fai turns in fun support with his own hilarious God
of Gamblers parody. All in all, this is fun stuff that's
sure to please most fans of Hong Kong Cinema. And with
Chow Yun-Fat along for the ride, nearly everything can
be forgiven. (Kozo 1995/1996)