King of Beggars
Director: Gordon Chan
Stars: Steven Chow, Cheung Man
Chow plays a rich ne'er-do-well who enters a martial arts competition to impress a beautiful prostitute (Cheung). When the emperor finds out that Chow cheated in the competition, he makes Chow give up all his wealth and become a beggar. Eventually, Chow hooks up with a organized gang of beggars and helps stave off a rebellion.
Steven Chow has been likened to Jim Carrey for his goofy mannerisms and "rubber" face, and one can certainly see touches of that in King of Beggars. There are several sequences (especially the climatic fight during the martial arts competition) that would look very familiar to those that have seen Carrey's work. However, like Carrey, Chow also falls prey into the trap of wanting to be regarded as a "serious" actor (unlike Carrey, though, Chow actually got his start as a dramatic actor before hitting it big with comedies). Genre mixing is to be expected in Hong Kong films, but the serious turn in King of Beggars really slows the film down and doesn't allow Steven Chow to do what he does best -- make us laugh. The movie recovers near the end with a climax that combines wire-fu and comedy in a manic mix that should please most Hong Kong film fans.
A review of the DVD for this movie can be found here
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