Enter the Phoenix
Hong Kong 2004
Directed by Stephen Fung.


Stephen Fung turns from acting to directing and for his first full length feature has delivered an entertaining action-comedy gay triad movie. When the old triad boss (Yuen Biao in an inspired cameo) dies, his son Georgie (Daniel Wu) is brought back from overseas to take up the reigns of leadership. Only trouble is, not only does he not want to be a triad boss, he's gay. His roommate and friend Sam (Eason Chan), on the other hand, always wanted to be a crime boss and so he pretends to be Georgie and runs the old school triad with outrageous ghetto fashion. Stephen Fung appears as the angry rival boss kid, and Karen Mok is the love interest, a successful insurance agent -- but only because her gangster daddy pressures all of her clients. Another father-son gangster team, Chapman To and Law Kar Ying, provide ample comic relief. The action is well choreographed, with both the opening scene (with Yuen Biao) and the end (with everybody) being notable. The production asks which is more important, that he is your Dailo (big brother), or that he is gay? American military, take note of the answers provided. I actually saw this in a theater in Hong Kong. It was packed, and everyone was having a great time. The jokes got big laughs, both Chapman To and Law Kar Ying were clearly audience favorites. It would be a shame if Stephen Fung stopped appearing in pictures and exclusively focused on directing. But taking on both duties looks like a winning combination for Fung and for the audience.

Rating: Recommended (Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on January 18, 2005.


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