House of Mahjong
Hong Kong 2007
Directed by Marco Mak.

Tenants of a run-down old mall play mahjong with the owner for their rent, but the owner's son (Raymond Wong) hates the tenants and thinks they take advantage of his father. He plans to run them all out and remodel the mall, so he hires a mahjong master (Matt Chow) to destroy them in a tournament to avenge his father. His father, though, likes things just the way they are, especially ever since a sexy new tenant (Rain Li), who looks like his old flame, has opened up a shop.

You couldn't get a stronger cast for a comedy -- Dayo Wong, Cheung Tat-ming, Sam Lee, Candy Lo, Raymond Wong -- so, how come the film isn't remotely funny? Mainly because it spends way too much of its running time in near pornographic displays of various special Taiwanese mahjong hands. Whether "Four Winds Dragon" or the like means anything to you will probably go a long way toward determining whether you find the movie at all tolerable. In the little running time that remains between mahjong tournaments, though, the movie sags even further and the storyline hopelessly dull. Especially when everyone, except the audience, has fallen in love with Rain Li. Dayo Wong occasionally amuses as a very effeminate bra salesman, but the jokes are easy and even then he misses a few. For die-hard mahjong action, you're better off with Fat Choi Spirit.

Rating: Not Recommended (Not Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on September 09, 2007.

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