Lost in Hong Kong Review: China Blockbuster Comedy Movie

The film follows Xu Lai, Xu Lai had dreams once. To be an artist and marry the girl of his dreams. 15 years later, he’s sick of designing bras, humoring his baby-crazy wife, and catering to loopy in-laws. But his upcoming family vacation, now including his DVD-pirating, aspiring-documentarian brother-in-law, has a hidden agenda: a chance meetup with his old flame. But ditching his clan for a clandestine hookup might be the least of his worries. There’s been a murder, and his new hot pursuit might be from the cops who want a word with him.

Lost in Hong Kong” follows 2010’s “Lost on Journey” and 2012’s “Lost in Thailand,” one of the all-time top-grossing blockbusters in its native China. Connected to its predecessors only thematically, the new film has director-star Xu Zheng embarking on yet another action-packed misadventure. Only this time, Xu’s character must babysit an exasperating man-child — a Looney Tunes character personified —played by Bao Bei’er instead of Wang Baoqiang from the previous installments.

Xu plays Xu Lai, a henpecked brassiere designer who’s barely putting up with the overbearing clan of wife Cai Bo (Vicki Zhao) on family vacation in Hong Kong. His ulterior motive is to reunite with the one that got away: college sweetheart Yang Yi (Du Juan), an accomplished artist who is set to open a solo show in Hong Kong. Problem is, Xu’s aspiring documentarian brother-in-law, Cai Lala (Bao), insists on tagging along everywhere he goes to record his every move.

Whereas “Lost in Thailand” felt like a homage to Stephen Chow’s brand of slapstick, “Lost in Hong Kong” looks to be an all-encompassing love letter to Hong Kong filmmaking. It’s chock-full of movie references and in-jokes, lovingly paying tribute to the influential but ailing industry. It does justice to the nutty stunt work, while its soundtrack consists of greatest hits from Hong Kong cinema’s 1980s and 1990s heyday.

This rollicking crowd-pleaser might just be smart and substantive enough to be one of the year’s best.

Genre: Art House & International, Comedy

Cast: Xu Zheng, Bao Beier, Vicki Zhao, Du Juan

Directed By: Zheng Xu

Written By: Huan Shu, Zheng Xu, Seven Su, Handsome Zhao, Shu Huan, Xing Ai Na

Runtime: 114 minutes

What are the Critics saying?

Martin Tsai (Los Angeles Times)

Whereas “Lost in Thailand” felt like a homage to Stephen Chow’s brand of slapstick, “Lost in Hong Kong” looks to be an all-encompassing love letter to Hong Kong filmmaking.

Boon Chan (The Straits Times – Singapore)

Apart from letting audiences play spot-the-Wong-Kar-Wai-reference, the movie also puts viewers in the mood for Cantopop.

Edmund Lee (South China Morning Post)

A full-on homage to the best of Hong Kong pop culture from the 1980s and ’90s.

Dennis Schwartz (Ozus’ World Movie Reviews)

Sappy crowd pleasing Hong Kong comedy.

Helen T. Verongos (New York Times)

Perhaps because it tries too hard to be too many things, the movie loses its punch.

Author: Duong VR

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