Kung Fu Mahjong II (2005)

Directed by
Wong Jing is as Wong Jing does
Reviewed by Simon on 2007-04-23

Fanny (Cherrie Ying) gives up her training in mahjong to marry young, handsome but sleazy Johnny (presumably a role that didn't stretch Terence Yin much). To further his ambitions in the Triad, Johnny abandons Fanny for his dai lo's sister Curvy. Fanny is suicidal, but her mahjong comrades and her brother convince her that it is much more admirable to take revenge on those that have wronged her... by finishing her training and defeating them in the world mahjong championships.

Wong Jing was quick to cash in on the success of Kung Fu Hustle by casting Yuen Wah and Yuen Qiu in broadly similar roles, and trotting out another in his long line of gambling comedy films. Since that went down well enough, he naturally followed it up with a sequel - which turns out to be a much better film. For a start, he wisely threw Roger Kwok out with the trash and gives the lead role to Cherrie Ying, a much more charming and talented substitute. In fact, maybe that's the only reason - the script still deviates little from Wong Jing's gambling film template (he still seems to believe that winning is 1/3rd mysticism and 2/3rds cheating), and is still blighted by his casual racism and sexism... but it's all much more enjoyable when the lead role is played by somebody whose eyes you don't want to poke out!

I still don't understand mahjong, which makes the gambling scenes a mixed experience - thanks to the formulaic nature of these films I can somewhat enjoy the rising and falling fortunes of the players without understanding exactly why such and such a tile is a good thing or a bad thing for them to have, and the mechanics of cheating are at least fairly universal :-p

The film has quite a bit of sexual content, and it's a little uncomfortable at times seeing girls as young and sweet as Cherrie Ying and Tiffany Lee talking about sex as seen through the eyes of Wong Jing - or in relation to Terence Yin (yuck).

But, despite having easily identifiable flaws (which are easily predictable in a Wong Jing film, so no viewer can claim to have been ambushed by them), KUNG FU MAHJONG 2 is a reasonably entertaining bit of fluff - probably a 6.75, scientifically speaking :-)