Yeah, I know my pronunciation sucks, tell me something I don’t know. 屌你老母臭閪… GOD OF GAMBLERS is a classic 1989 Wong Jing film starring Chow Yun Fat, Andy Lau and Joey Wong. Chow Yun Fat plays Ko Chun, the god of gamblers. He’s the greatest gambler in the world. And he loves chocolate. And he’s really handsome. Soon after taking an assignment to defeat an evil gambler, Ko Chun suffers a head injury and catches amnesia! Better be careful; you can get Alzheimer’s disease from amnesia… just ask Barbara Wong. He reverts to nearly childlike intelligence, becoming almost totally dependent on Andy Lau and Joey Wong. They provide him with chocolate and he provides them with a tidy income from his gambling prowess. Will Ko Chun regain his memory and retain his title of God of Gamblers? What do you think? Like a lot of movies, the destination of GOD OF GAMBLERS is nowhere near as important or as interesting, as the journey itself. Like all of Wong Jing’s best movies, GOD OF GAMBLERS plays fast and loose with logic and reality. The god of gamblers can change cards with his mind. So he’s not really gambling, is he? But who would wanna watch a movie called GOD OF CHEATERS? The scene I partially recreated in the introduction begins in a brothel in Mongkok. The bad guys show up, initiating a chase scene. Our heroes leave by the back door (that’s not a euphemism) which leads magically to a parking garage in Lek Yuen Estate, which is in the New Territories in Sha Tin. But so what? GOD OF GAMBLERS is Wong Jing at his frenetic best. There’s blood, chocolate, comedy, violence, drama, and guns. My needs are met. There are homages, or parodies, of THE UNTOUCHABLES and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and other movies. There’s a Wong Jing cameo in a brothel. There’s Chow Yun Fat with two pistols: There’s a lot of overstatement, but there’s also a sense of… of momentum, and smoothness, and confidence. Chow Yun Fat may chew up the occasional scene as his amnesiac self, but it really only makes the god of gamblers that much cooler when he reverts to form: the slicked back hair, the absolute confidence, the million dollar smile. These things and others have made GOD OF GAMBLERS a classic movie. It also helps that Chinese people like gambling the way… fish like water. This movie spawned a number of sequels, the first of which helped launch the career of Stephen Chow. 1990’s ALL FOR THE WINNER, which was a parody, but still quite a popular movie. There were two movies in 1991: GOD OF GAMBLERS II and GOD OF GAMBLERS III: BACK TO SHANGHAI. In 1994, CHOW YUN FAT returned for GOD OF GAMBLERS RETURN. 1997’s GOD OF GAMBLERS 3: THE EARLY STAGE tried to tell the backstory… while changing it. Looking at it now, almost twenty-five years later, it makes you realize how much the city and its movies have changed. But as my intro shows, some things are still the same, and thank God for that. I hope you can tell that the intro was filmed in the exact same spot as the original movie, in Fun City in Sha Tin. Chun Chun Sauna, on the second floor, goes a long way towards making sure that Fun City lives up to its name… from what I’ve read. Never mind that. GOD OF GAMBLERS is a timeless local classic that doesn’t get older, it just gets better. Wish I could say the same thing about myself… If nothing else, you should watch this movie again to get ready for next year’s Chinese New Year film FROM VEGAS TO MACAU. I want to thank a few people that really helped me with this video, including Raffi, who did all of the camerawork, Elley, who help me with the translations, and PK Cheung, who helped me with the subtitles. If you have suggestions for a movie you’d like me to review, please let me know. All I ask is that it’s a film that’s still available on disc and Blu ray, because that way I’m not gonna promote downloading
movies, ’cause I refuse to do it. In the description, there are links to where you can buy this movie. If you enjoyed this review, please leave me a comment and tell me. Even if you didn’t like it, leave me a comment and tell me. And if you really enjoy my reviews, please think about subscribing.