Sunday, February 7, 2016

God of Gamblers 賭神1

 Released Year: 1989
Directed by 王晶 Wang Jing

Casted by:
周潤發 Chow Yun Fat as 高進 / 朱古力 Ko Chun / Chocolate
劉德華 Andy Lau as 陳刀仔 Michael Chan
向華強 Charles Heung as 龍五 Lung Wu
王祖賢 Joey Wong as 珍 Jane
龍方 Jimmy Lung as 高義 Ko Yee
張敏 Sharla Cheung as Janet
吳孟達 Ng Man Tatt as 花柳成 Shing
黃斌 Ronald Wong as 烏鴉 Crow
Ko Chun is a world-famous gambler, so renowned and talented at winning various games of chance that he is referred to as the "God of Gamblers". He keeps his identity secret from the public (and avoids taking photos so his face is not recognised), but is known for three characteristics: his slick-backed hairstyle, his love of Feodora brand chocolate and his jade pinky ring.

Ko Chun arrives in Tokyo, accompanied by his girlfriend Janet and his assistant and cousin Ko Yee, for a match with Tanaka, the country's top ranked gambler. After convincingly defeating Tanaka in games of Mahjong and dice, Tanaka concedes defeat and asserts that Ko Chun "really God".

Tanaka asks Chun to help him take revenge on Chan Kam-Sing, a famous Singaporean gambler who cheated Tanaka's father (driving him to suicide), by besting Chan in a high-stakes poker match. Ko Chun agrees, merely asking for a box of chocolate as payment. In gratitude, Tanaka sends his bodyguard, former ARVN (South Vietnam) Special Forces Operative Dragon to accompany Ko Chun for protection.

Meanwhile, Little Knife, an avid but mediocre gambler who idolises the God of Gamblers, sets a trap for an Indian neighbour as a practical joke. After a confrontation on a train between Ko Chun, Dragon, and henchmen sent by one of Ko Chun's rivals, Ko happens to accidentally stumble into Knife's trap. Ko falls down a hill, hitting his head, and subsequently suffers from amnesia and regresses to a childlike state.

Knife, not knowing who the unnamed stranger is, takes him in and names him "Chocolate" due to the man's seemingly obsessive love for the candy. Initially Knife is impatient with "Chocolate"'s simple-minded innocence and yells at him often, but soon recognises that "Chocolate" has innate gambling talent and begins to exploit his abilities in local poker games and gambling dens. As time passes, Knife comes to care for "Chocolate" and seeks to find a way to restore his memory.

Back at Ko Chun's mansion, it is revealed that Janet has been searching for Chun for ten days to no avail. Ko Yee, who is jealous of Chun's success and wealth, makes advances on her, which she rejects; finally, while attempting to rape her, Yee accidentally knocks Janet off the balcony, killing her. He discovers that she has been recording what has been transpiring and proceeds to burn the tape. Later, Yee allies himself with Chan Kam-Sing and Ko Chun's other rival and they send assassins to find and kill Chun.

Eventually, the assassins find Chun, Knife, and their friends and attempt to kill them, but Dragon arrives to protect them after tracking Chun down. A fierce shootout ensues in a shopping center, in which Knife saves Chun from an attempt on his life by Ko Yee. During the fight, Dragon is wounded, causing Chun to snap out of his child persona briefly to kill the rest of the assailants. However, after regressing back to his childlike state, Chun becomes horrified at the carnage and runs out into the street where he is struck by a vehicle.

Chun awakens in the hospital with his regular persona, but no memory of the events or people he met after the fight. He is informed by Ko Yee, who is feigning loyalty, that Janet has disappeared. Knife arrives and attempts to warn Chun of Ko Yee's treachery but Yee has Knife thrown out. Later, Ko Yee gives Chan Kam-Sing special eyeglasses that will allow him to cheat during his upcoming poker match with Chun by reading invisible markings on the cards.

Chun, Yee, Tanaka and Dragon arrive on Chan Kam-Sing's yacht for the climactic game of five card stud. Knife, having sneaked onto the boat, again attempts to warn Chun of the danger he is in. Chun agrees to hear Knife out later but admonishes him not to interfere with the poker game.

With his ability to see the markings on the cards, Chan Kam-Sing dominates the first two rounds. After losing all of Tanaka's money, Ko Chun puts up his entire personal portfolio of wealth and holdings against Chan's wealth. Chan, using his glasses to see that Ko Chun has an inferior hand, agrees, showing his cards and gloating over his victory. Ko Chun, in turn, reveals that he actually has the superior hand and has won the game, having secretly altered the markings of the deck and using special contact lenses to read them.

Subsequently, Ko Chun tricks Chan Kam-Sing into shooting Ko Yee. As Yee lays dying, Chun drops Janet's tape (which actually never finished burning) onto his body. Ko Chun then departs (as police arrive to take Chan into custody for murder) without speaking to Knife, much to the latter's dismay.

Ko Chun later surprises Knife at his home and reveals that he remembered Knife in the hospital and knew about Ko Yee's betrayal all along, but had to feign ignorance to execute his plan properly. He promises to make it up to Knife by taking him to Las Vegas as his gambling partner.
 L² Scored: 10/10

L² Comment
The ever classic gambling movie in HK that everyone likes no matter back in 1989 or now. Chow Yun Fat is forever my idol and I like him so much, no matter when he is Ko Chun or Chocolate, his acting skill has already been good during that time (thanks to TVB for training him)... Andy Lau is still a bit not steady like Joey Wong during that time, but acceptable... Overall this is a classic movie which nobody should miss in their lifetime~

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