image courtesy of www.sensasian.com
Year of release: 2002
This DVD is available for purchase at www.sensasian.com
The Conman 2002
Stephen Fung. Image courtesy of Universe.
This movie was really good -- at least the parts with Stephen Fung in them. Even though Fung isn't the best actor, he has a nice charisma about him, and I usually enjoy his work. Hell, he even made Gen-Y Cops at least somewhat enjoyable to watch. It's just too bad in this case that he had to be paired with Nick Cheung, whose spastic work makes Tom Green or Carrot Top seem almost sedate.
Anyway, back to the film itself. The Conman 2002's plot has Nick Cheung as a loser cursed with bad luck who meets up with a cute nurse (Mango Wong) on one of his many trips to the hospital. Wong's brother (our guy Stephen) is the current "God of Gamblers", and when he meets Nick, dollar signs pop in front of his eyes when he realizes Nick can be used to sway bets. Stephen eventually takes control of all the local casinos, which, of course, leads to a climatic gambling duel.
Nick Cheung and Wong Yat Fei. Image courtesy of Universe.
This might have been some good gambling movie stuff, but the sad fact remains that The Conman 2002 stars Nick Cheung. I'm sure he's a very nice guy and some of his Cantonese puns are obviously lost on this gweilo viewer, but damn, does this guy suck. He tries so hard to be Stephen Chow that he brings down the whole movie as a process. The rest of the cast (especially Wong Jing's dad, Wong Tin Lam) does a good job given what they had to work with, but Nick's performance throws the proverbial monkey wrench into the proceedings.
If The Conman 2002 had concentrated more on Stephen Fung's character, we might have had a winner. Alas, with Nick Cheung at the helm, it really goes nowhere. Despite some nice eye candy from the female leads and a good gambling finale, The Conman 2002 doesn't really offer much of interest to the viewer, especially if they have already seen the better films in the genre like God of Gamblers. Wong Jing has long been known for being able to repeatedly use the same ideas over and over again with good results, but if The Conman 2002 is any indication, it might be time for Wong to fold the whole "God of Gamblers" idea instead of subjecting audiences to yet another stunningly average effort.
Mango Wong. Image courtesy of Universe.