Return of the God of Gamblers (1994)

Rating: C-

Dir: Wong Jing 
Star: Chow Yun-Fat, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Chien-Lien Wu, Charles Heung
a.k.a. God of Gamblers 2

[TC20] A long time after the original, and choosing to ignore completely the Chow Yun Fat-less pseudo-sequels, this was a huge hit in Hong Kong, becoming the first movie ever to gross HK$50m. Despite this, it’s a strangely flat kind of film, which is simply just not as good as the original — for example, in it, the humour seemed to flow naturally from the characters, but in ‘Return’, it all seems forced in there, with some parts feeling like discards from a Steven Chow movie. It doesn’t take itself seriously, which leaves the dramatic elements flailing around aimlessly, especially a villain whose sheer evilness goes beyond caricature, and that’s before he kills Chow’s wife and unborn son. Speaking of Chow, he is, of course, charismatic and powerful as ever, yet even he ends up strangely unmemorable — there are hardly any moments which will stay with you once the movie has ended.