Play with Strangers
Hong Kong 2000
Directed by Albert Mak.

A pleasant low-budget production featuring a group of my favorite supporting actors. Roy Cheung stars as a "bootlicker," which apparently is a person who goes around gambling with and generally ingratiating themselves to various rich businessmen in the hopes of earning a little cash. He gambles with three bullying, cranky businessmen one night (Simon Loui, Lam Suet, and Louis Yuen), only to find they were murdered the same night shortly after he left. They are turned back at the pearly gates and given 30 days to find their killer or be cursed as wandering ghosts forever. They must get him to confess, only trouble is, these ghosts can't do anything or be seen or heard by anyone except the last person who saw them alive, which is this case is their professional bootlicker. What follows is a surprisingly low-key story, in which Cheung must first agree to help the obnoxious ghosts, then uncover the killer. They also make him check up on their loved ones, including Ruby Wong as one of the ghosts old girlfriend. The end is a gambling showdown with the alleged killer (Jimmy Wong Ga-Lok). Roy Cheung delivers a weird, slightly off kilter performance.

Rating: Marginally Recommended (Marginally Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on January 22, 2005.

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