My Name is Nobody

Who started the rumor that Nicky Cheung was the next big funny man in HK films? I keep seeing his films and have looked for a glimmer of comic genius with no success thus far. I wonder if I am missing something, but if I am so was everyone else at the Music Palace watching his latest film – My Name is Nobody. I didn’t hear anything approaching a guffaw or a giggle the entire 90-minutes of running time. This film is about as funny as a dead cat stuck in your drain.
Now admittedly, the story is a supposed mix of comedy and drama, but both are so lame that it is difficult to discern which is which. The only time that the audience made any appreciable sound was on the first sighting of Hsu Chi. I thought the fellow on my left was going to leap out of his seat and kiss the screen! She is gorgeous and seeing her on a large screen is quite a treat. The film does indulge us with a few lovely close ups of her. Perhaps it is only my prejudice showing, but she is the best and only thing in this film worth viewing. She actually puts a bit of zest into her role – but regretfully the film really revolves around Nicky Cheung and Wong Jing.
Nicky Chueng – called Nobody – is a gambler/swindler in cahoots with Wong Jing and they manage to make a good living taking suckers in cards and mah-jong. Long stretches of the film are taken up with these games that have the dramatic impact of a car commercial. One day he sees Hsu Chi modelling on the streets of HK (it’s a stunning sequence of shots of Hsu Chi) and becomes entranced. It turns out that she is a blind model trying to save up enough money for an eye operation. He chases after her and wins her with his . . . I am not sure – charm I guess – though it is invisible to me.
To make a few big scores, he and Wong go to Shenzen where they run into a triad big shot who forces Cheung and Wong to work with him. All goes well for a while, but there is a falling out and the film suddenly turns serious. The film actually takes an ugly and very unsatisfying turn that made me yearn for the earlier attempted comedy. For Hsu Chi completists only.

My rating for this film: 4.0
Hsu Chi and Nicky Cheung at the premiere