The Saint of Gamblers
I imagine that the idea of Ng Man-Tat, Eric Kot
and Natalis Chan all appearing in the same film together is a painful thought
to a lot of people. I know some people that would probably prefer having
nails hammered into their hands than go through 90-minutes of this threesome.
Hammering is a good analogy for their method of acting subtlety is not
part of their vocabulary as they hit the audience continuously over the
head with their eye popping facial expressions, their physical eye poking
comedy and their verbal assaults. Its like being caught in a comedic tornado
pulled and pushed in fifty directions with no logic and no pattern
just go wherever the tornado takes you. Much of this comedy is childishly
bad but within the chaos there are some lovely moments of absurdity.
And where there is pain, there can also be pleasure.
The pleasure comes in the voluptuous and salivating forms of Chingmy Yau
and Diana Pang Dan. Both of them look like a big, cold drink of water to
a very thirsty man. Chingmy is all softness and curves while Pang Dan camps
it up to the max as a cold hearted sexually attired seductress.
This film is part of the gambling series of films
produced by Wong Jing (God of Gamblers) who was greatly responsible for
the popularity of this genre. By 1995 this genre was sagging a bit and
so for good measure, Jing throws in elements of the Shaolin kid genre that
was quite popular at the time and even some scenes reminiscent of the video
game segment in City Hunter.
The opening scene shows pictures of previous great
gamblers in the series Chow Yun Fat, Stephen Chow and Andy Lau but
times have changed and this film (completely comedic in nature) has as
its protagonist Eric Kot. Not exactly sleek or elegant or debonair
in fact Kot is the total opposite a bit chunky, a total rube and about
as debonair as a hot dog with all the fixings - but he is the hero of this
It begins with Ng Man-Tat (who is seemingly
playing the same character he did in Stephen Chows All for the Winner)
visiting a small town in the Mainland and looking for his next gambling
genius to make his living off. Everyone in this town has some sort of supernatural
power it seems. After testing all the villagers to see who can change a
King into an Ace (one fellow can do this but first he has to eat it and
then let nature take its way not very convenient in a game of cards!),
he settles on Kot. Kot looks and talks as if he is somewhat retarded
but he can make things bigger (he offers to make Ngs penis as big as a
watermelon!) and he can read minds as long as he is touching that person.
So they go back to HK where they soon run into
Ray Thai (Ben Lam), his girlfriend Chingmy and her young brother who is
a kung-fu demon. In the opening scene, the kid takes on a bunch of adults
and beats them senseless with a deck of cards and a few well placed kicks
- while Chingmy performs a few nifty moves as well in her "God of Gamblers
Returns" mode. Ray Thai is entered into the World Championship of Gambling
against some tough opposition the kind that kills if it has to and
so he decides that Kot would make the perfect diversion or fall guy and
gets him into the Championship as well. Kot immediately falls for the chewable
The main opponent in the gambling competition
is the Mata Hari like siren from Thailand Pang Dan who dresses alluringly
and defeats her rivals with hypnosis and vast amounts of distracting cleavage.
Though she only has perhaps fifteen minutes of screen time, Pang Dan makes
them all count.
Silly only begins to describe this film funny?
well, I would not go that far but if you think you can pass the endurance
test of Kot and Ng Man-Tat (take an aspirin prior to viewing) the film
does have some interesting and amusing scenes and a nice extended cameo
from Donnie Yen as an Interpol agent that includes a few of his famous
high jumping kicks.
My rating for this film: 6.0