All for the Winner

Broad Outline: Chow plays Sing (again!), a mainland yokel who has the supernatural ability of x-ray vision (as well as the occasional ability of low level matter manipulation).  These skills are put to use by his downbeat Hong Kong Uncle (Ng Man Tat) in the world of gambling.  This puts Sing firmly in the middle of a traid battle over an international gambling tournament. Along the way he falls for beautiful kick-ass girl Yee Mong (Sharla Cheung), and learns the importance of people over money.

Stephen is a Dick Level: 1/10.  Sing is very much an innocent here, and is usually to be found using his skills to actually help people.  In fact, when the film tries to inject the idea that he might be valuing money over everything else, it actually doesn’t quite work.

Mo Lei Tau Quota: 8/10.  Not only are there a bunch of quite strange moments (such as Sing’s date with Sandra Ng’s armpit mole, and Ng Man Tat doing all sorts of odd gyrations), but this is also a fairly rough and ready parody of the Wong Jing/Chow Yun-fat hit “The God of Gamblers”, so a fair few of the jokes necessitate a working knowledge of that movie.  Somehow, in a way that only 1990’s Hong Kong cinema can provide, things get even more complicated.  “All for the Winner” was a huge success, turning Chow from Star to Superstar.  It actually made more money than the film it was parodying – so high became Chow’s stock, that Wong Jing got Chow to play the Sing character in two “God of Gamblers” sequels.  And he barely appears in the actual sequel to this movie, “The Top Bet”, where he gets replaced by Anita Mui and Dodo Cheng.  This doesn’t happen in Hollywood folks!

Sing Girl Status: Well, as Chow to this point wasn’t a guaranteed box-office sensation, the idea of Sing Girl doesn’t apply here.  However, Sharla Cheung will go on to star/cameo in a whole bunch of Chow movies over the next few years.

Is it Any Good? It’s… ok.  No, it’s better than that, but it is very much a low budget product of 1990’s Hong Kong cinema.  It just about makes sense, and does have plenty of chortles for even the grouchiest viewer.  I would say Mildly Recommended, but certainly it’s an important film.  It sets Chow up as a bona fide star, and is the starting point for his working relationship with Ng Man Tat.  Also, apropos of nothing, the few action scenes are also rather good – probably due to Corey Yuen being involved in the fight sequences. 


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