The Hong Kong comic king Stephen Chow leads an all-star cast in this Lunar New Year comedy!!!
Three brothers, Lo Leung, Lo Fei, and Lo Kung live in a house run by their father Lo Lo Tau and Leung’s wife Yinsu. Leung is a successful businessman who loves his job. Fei is a constant student who has gotten 3 bachelor’s degrees and 1 master’s degree and is about to get his doctorates. Kung is the lazy brother. Fei wants to be a singer and asks for advice from his teacher. He also falls for Karen Kam, a city woman who wants to take control and do what she wants, getting nothing but disrespect from the family. Yinsu and Leung have a very bad romantic life in their marriage because of Leung’s commitment to business.
Fei and Leung, tired of Kung’s laziness, decide to play a prank on him for his birthday. They decide to pretend to play the Mark Six Lottery, where the first prize is $30 million dollars. When Kung thinks he’s won, he takes conquest Gigi out to dinner but finds himself in trouble when he loses $1 million to local boss Smartie. To make matters worse, Kung learns the prize money was a fake. To get even with his brothers, he pretends to be a mental patient. In the midst of things, Fei meets Shanny, a chicken stall owner who unlike Karen, gets respect from the family. Yinsu decides to flirt with a local photographer to make Leung jealous. Kung meets Suen, a friend of the family, who like Kung, is faking an illness to protect her family. Kung decides to make things right by helping himself and his brothers with their love lives.
Stephen Chow leads an all-star cast in this really funny comedy, displaying his trademark “mo lei tau” comedy style and with some help of plastic legs, brings a comedic spoof of his trademark martial arts skills and his idol, Bruce Lee. However, Chow’s story is just one of many that are connection as this film revolves around a family with their issues of love and relationships.
In one of his final film roles, Roy Chiao is terrific as the patriarch while the actors who play the elder two sons are fun as well. Francis Ng, breaking from typecast as a notorious type, is fun as the brainy brother who just yearns of dreaming for love and music. Film series writer and producer Raymond Wong can come off as annoying at times as the moneymaker of the bunch, due to his character being more stone cold and only caring about success, not realizing the consequences of focusing on just work and not the family. The chemistry of Chow, Ng, and Wong, show exactly why they may be brothers, but they are clearly having absolute different personalities and yet, it works so well for this genre of film.
The females of the film undergo quite an interesting transformation themselves, notably that of Christine Ng’s Yinsu, Leung’s underappreciated wife, who decides to change her looks from wallflower to stunning in an attempt to show her husband what he has been missing. As for Francis Ng’s love triangle, it is clear that Amanda Lee’s Karen is truly a dominant person who many will see that she would not make Ng’s Fei an unhappy man while Wu Chien-Lien’s Shanny, a nerdy chicken stall owner showcases Wu going against type in terms of her looks, which usually show her being stunning and Wu here proves she is exactly why she is quite an actress. Christy Chung and Stephen Chow’s Suen and Kung couldn’t be more perfect for each other, having the same agendas in terms faking mental illnesses yet for different agendas.
There are some brief moments of fighting in the film, and when one says fighting, that’s kung fu fighting. Chin Kar-Lok choreographed a brief scene in which we see Christy Chung protecting Chow from the likes of Simon Loui’s Brother Smartie and his goons after they attempt to extort more money out of Chow.
All’s Well Ends Well ’97 is a cute film with an all-star cast and some really goofy yet funny antics, courtesy of Stephen Chow.
WFG RATING: B+
A Mandarin Films Co. Ltd. production. Director: Alfred Cheung. Producer: Raymond Wong. Writers: Raymond Wong and Ku Chu. Cinematography: Tam Chi-Wai. Editing: Poon Hung.
Cast: Stephen Chow, Roy Chiao, Francis Ng, Raymond Wong, Christine Ng, Gigi Lai, Christy Chung, Wu Chien-Lien, Amanda Lee, Emil Chau, Simon Loui.