賭俠
God of Gamblers II (1990)


Reviewed by: Masterofoneinchpunch
Date: 05/24/2016
Summary: "I lost all my special power. I'm leaving."

Talk about quick and talk about ersatz. Director Wong Jing had a mega-hit in God of Gamblers the year before. Jeff Lau and Corey Yuen created a semi-spoof in All for the Winner a few months before this film which was an even bigger hit and made Stephen Chow a star. So Wong Jing had his peanut butter and chocolate idea to combine the two. It was also a hit and the gambling cycle of films was in full bloom like a bizarre looking butterfly out of its cocoon and would have a lifespan almost as long. Just a few weeks before King of Gambler came out (not related, not a hit and I have not seen it yet.) So even without hindsight it seemed inevitable that God of Gamblers 2 (the Chinese title is Knight of Gamblers) would be birthed and Wong Jing would direct it. It was almost inevitable that this would going to be a gigantic hit, though did not quite make as much money of All for the Winner which was 41.3 million HK dollars compared to the 40.3 million here.

It starts off just like the first film in San Francisco but here we have the God of Gambler's surrogate Michael Chan the Knight of Gamblers (Andy Lau) showing off his abilities while eating chocolate, having gelled hair and playing with his jade pinky ring. He is more suave than the first film, though Chow Yun-fat is certainly missed by me while his character is retired and hiding out in South America. However, Sing, the Saint of Gamblers, is still bumbling and Stephen Chow-like, in tow with Uncle Tat (Ng Man-tat) except he has a few new nifty abilities like the "penetrating eye", and the ability to make himself invisible (its effectiveness reminds me somewhat of Invisible Boy in Mystery Men) that come and go at the whims of the script or lack of one. Sing wants to apprentice under the original Ko Chun and the way to get to him is through the Knight of Gamblers. But since Chow Yun-fat did not want to be in this film that is not going to happen (joking aside I believe he was contracted with John Woo's Once a Thief at the time which had started filming in November of 1990).

But not too many people know who the Knight of Gamblers actually is. Hussein (Tan Lap-man), show foster father was the Beast of Gamblers in the first film, has an idea to impersonate the Knight and hold an offshore (the old international waters idea that you can get away with murder) tournament in the name of charity. But first he has to eliminate the possible competition in Michael Chan and Sing. Luckily Chan's bodyguard has a sister in the Hong Kong police force Lung Kau "Kowloon" (Monica Chan in her second film) to help protect them. Unluckily Dream Lo (a dead ringer for Beautiful Dream from the first film, of course played by the same actress Sharla Cheung Man) is forced to work for Hussein and is ultimately used against Sing. Somehow we all know that this film is going to culminate with a poker game. It has too, it is in the cards.

As always with Wong Jing it pays not to think too much. Some of the logic lapses in this film is too much even for Wong. What gambler would accept losing to a half-eaten card? Why would the bodyguard Lung Ng would leave them alone during a gun battle and go off on a motorcycle? Though one might also wonder why Lau puts on a complete new set of clothes while in the middle of the gun battle scene and so does Lung. Talk about some continuity problems. There are more logic lapses than a Corey Yuen gun battle (action director Paul Wong Kwan is stronger with fighting scenes than gun battles). Also why would Sing try to change a card when he knows his powers are mostly gone? And according to the rules of the first film (losing his power for a period of time) it makes even less sense. How in the world during the first conference on the boat by the evil Hussein does the press not notice the two kidnapped individuals with silencers to their head and Tat with a stuffed mouth? The press are even looking in that direction. And the Indian from the first film transformed into a Kuwaitian though strangely the film mentions both, so either subtitles are off, it is supposed to be two characters or Wong Jing's fault which tends to be my default. One might also wonder how many scenes you can shamelessly insert Chow Yun-fat into (if there were too many more times it might have ended up a gambling version of Game of Death.)

The main reason to watch this is Stephen Chow in his first collaboration with Wong Jing. He is one of my favorite comedians. His influences are from everywhere from the USA to Hong Kong. You see a Warner Bros. cartoon influence especially on scenes like where the chair he was about to sit in was kicked out from underneath him, but since he does not know it he stays in sitting position much like Wil E. Coyote. The nunchuck plunger gag (one cannot get enough plunger gags also in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective) is not only a Bruce Lee reference, but also a Michael Hui homage when Hui did a similar Bruce Lee influenced gag in The Private Eyes. With Chow's increasing stardom he would often be called the heir apparent to Michael Hui (though without as much social criticism as Hui.) But his strange amalgam of verbal, visual, slapstick, absurd humor is quite unique.* He also created one of the worst calling card videos I have ever seen.

I would recommend watching this only if you have seen the previous two films. Too many in-jokes, characters and references would be missed. I also think that it is probably better to wait a little time between watching all three films because too many gags are repeated. This film sometimes feels as fresh as Bernie in Weekend at Bernies. According to John Charles in The Hong Kong Filmography (2000), a book I highly recommend for HK fans, the flashback scenes reference both Swordsman and A Terracotta Warrior. Overall I enjoy it even with the sense of déjà vu. It is just that every aspect of the movie is not as good as the previous two including action, fighting, original comedy and the card games (though technically Wong Jing in the first film was "influenced" from Norman Jewison's The Cincinnati Kid.) But it is funny in many scenes some of which were mentioned above. I liked this movie most the first time I saw it while subsequent rewatches do not hold up as much as the previous two. This was followed by God of Gamblers III: Back to Shanghai the following year.

I saw this on the Mei Ah R0/NTSC "A Grand Collection of God of Gamblers II" which has this movie and God of Gamblers III: Back to Shanghai on another disc. This movie is anamorphic widescreen, has Cantonese (Original, Dolby Digital Surround 5.1, DTS) and Mandarin (Original) audio tracks while subtitles are Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese and English. The subtitles are not bad and the print looks decent. Special Features are a Trailer (1:49m), Data Bank (which is Synopsis and Cast & Crew in Chinese and English), and Best Buy which is a God of Gamblers III trailer (2:39m).

* It is important to remember that very little is unique and comedy is no exception. Michael Hui was influenced by Peter Sellers, Peter Sellers was influenced by Jacques Tati. I believe Tati was influenced by Charles Chaplin. Chaplin was influenced by Pantomime Theater, early Roscoe Arbuckle and Max Linder. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: Chungking_Cash
Date: 06/04/2007

The second installment in Wong Jing's largely successful series of gambling pictures is both a sequel to "God of Gamblers" (1989) as well as a follow-up to the Stephen Chow smash hit "All for the Winner" (1990).

Ironically, the latter worked as a parody of "God of Gamblers" but Wong assimilates the formula and effortlessly capitalizes on Stephen Chow's trademark brand of inconsequential comedy.

There within lies the problem, unfortunately. The emphasis is now on Stephen Chow and his partner in crime Ng Man-tat who are frustratingly dicey in their delivery.

Andy Lau returns as protégé Little Knife whose risen to the rank of Knight of Gamblers and at odds with Sing the Saint of Gamblers (Stephen Chow). Both are searching for Ko Chun (Chow Yun-fat, credited with a faux cameo using an outtake from the first film).

In the mean time they reluctantly combine their powers to tackle Hussein (Tan Lap-man) a smarmy cheat masquerading as the Knight of Gamblers.

"God of Gamblers II" slowly, but progressively strengthens with each passing chapter but cannot overcome the absence of Chow Yun-fat who made the first installment not just another Wong Jing gambling flick.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 05/09/2006
Summary: must-see film

After the huge success of Wong Jing's God of Gamblers [1989], the next logical move for the writer and director would be to indulge in self-parody and ridicule the genre conventions he established, right? This outstanding movie is a milestone in Wong's career that marks his first collaboration with comedian Stephen Chow Sing-Chi. For any student of Hong Kong cinema and/or the films of Wong Jing, God of Gamblers II is a must-see film for a myriad of reasons.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/12/2002
Summary: All For The Winner 2

Okay, firstly not to confuse people, this is the 2nd movie in the GOG series, although the God Of Gamblers Returns is another sequel. It might sound confusing, but that's sort of the way it was done, as Chow Yun Fat was originally not interested in doing a sequel. The Chinese name means 'Gambling Knight' or can be 'Knight Of Gamblers'.

Andy Lau is back, this time teaming up with Stephen Chow. Looking more like All For The Winner at most of the time, which was Stephen Chows original rip off of GOG, but this time taking part in the real series. I personally prefer All For The Winner, which in my mind is also Stephen Chow’s best film. Still, it is still funny. The other sequel (God Of Gamblers Returns) is much better, as this one is much more of a comedy film (like All For The Winner). The same cast too are here, with Ng Man Tat and Sharla Cheung, and with Stephen Chow at his prime here it must been seen.

It has references to both the original God Of Gamblers (Chow Yun Fat images and revisting the old house), and also All For Winner (Chows psychic powers and his old girlfriend 'Yee Mong' played by Sharla Cheung). Can be very confusing all these films.

Still, this one is worth watching, but if you haven't seen All For The Winner, I recommend you see that one first, as this will make more sense if you've seen it. Don't expect this to be like the original GOG, because it's not.

Rating: 3/5

(This rating is based on the year & genre, so don't think it's based as a comparison on new releases etc.)


Reviewed by: danton
Date: 01/08/2002

A sequel both to the original CYF hit and to Stephen Chow's parody All for the Winner at the same time, this movie unites Andy Lay and a few other characters from the original with Stephen and Ng Man-Tat from the parody, resulting in an uneven effort that can't quite decide whether to play it straight or go for the parody.

The movie never quite manages to create the thrills of the original (or of the only true sequel, God of Gambler's Return, also with CYF), and Andy Lau struggles to find the right tone throughout the movie. It's also not as funny as Chow's AFTW (nor does it compare favorably to GoG 3, which dumps Andy Lau and goes back to the successful Stephen Chow formula). The gun battles are sloppy, as are the gambling scenes, which have none of the climactic tension of the other films in the series. Still, the film offers enough entertainment value to not be a complete disappointment. Fans of the series may want to give it a try.

This may be one case where it's actually better to get the VCD than the DVD, as the VCD is letterboxed (whereas the DVD is fullscreen, AFAIK).


Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 11/21/2001
Summary: Less gambling, more farce

GOD OF GAMBLERS II: Probably a unique beast, this movie is both a semi-sequel to GOD OF GAMBLERS and to its parody ALL FOR THE WINNERS (aka SAINT OF GAMBLERS). No Chow Yun Fat... except in spiritual presence... but we get Andy Lau's character from GOG and Stephen Chiau's character from AFTW teaming up together. We get an interesting fusion of Chiau's supernatural gambling skills and Andy's more genuine gambling skills inherited from his mentor Chow Yun Fat. The film is mainly played for comedy, and there's some quite funny moments. Not a huge amount of gambling actually goes on, but there's a couple of very nice action scenes. There's a touch of racism inherited from the original GOG that's a little unwelcome... the Indian character has mysteriously morphed into a Kuwaiti, showing a slightly offensive disregard for ethnology. Not a brilliant film, but with worthwhile moments. Mei Ah seem to have something against the GOD OF GAMBLERS franchise though, and this DVD is presented full screen with theatrical subs that are frequently cropped by the sides of the screen. Easy enough to follow for veteran HK subtitle readers though.


Reviewed by: zarrsadus
Date: 05/01/2001
Summary: Gotta love a good Stephen Chow film

I actually liked this movie a lot, compared to how the other reviews stated. While yes I must admit the plot was rather lacking, and I didn't really like the whole "special power battles" - I laughed a ton! :). I knew this wasn't the true sequel to the original God of Gamblers, but seeing Stephen Chow in the credits I knew I had to see it. Mentioning the special powers thing, while in the original movie yeah they had gambling skills, but in this movie the characters can make themselves invisible and see people miles away. While this did provide for a lot of humor, it made the gambling scenes a lot less interesting because they would use their "powers" and not some cunning and clever trick like in God of Gamblers. Overall though, I found this to be one of Stephen Chow's better movies, and as a Chow fan I recommend this movie to any other fans out there who haven't seen it yet, you'll love the comedy! 9 out of 10!

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 07/03/2000
Summary: So so ......

Reading from the old "HONG KONG CINEMA" which i hope will come back to life on day,I guess i had high expectations of this movie and because of it, it may effect what i may i think of this movie!!

The movie is about Saint of Gamblers (Chow Sing Chi) who wants to learn from the greatest gambler of all, God of Gamblers but goes through his student Knight/Hero of Gamblers (Andy Lau).

From that point, the main villian from the first GOD OF GAMBLERS' foster son wants to take revenge and wants to start with his student. He tricks the media into thinking that HE is the real Gambling Hero and in turn disgrace the name of God of Gamblers.

Ok from what i said it sounds like a drama or something but this is a action/comedy. It's a ok one!! I didn't laugh all that much and the action is minimal!! The gambling scenes are good though.

The english title is a confusing because this is NOT really God of Gamblers 2, (Because God of Gamblers Return is really
number 2) In chinese as i remember, the title is really "Gambling HERO!!" When i tried hiring this at video stores using the english name, i got the WRONG movie because i got GOD OF GAMBLERS RETURNS instead of this!!

Enough said i think, i will give this

6/10

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: MadMonkey
Date: 12/09/1999

Pairing him up with Andy Lau and the "God of Guns" (Charles Heung) and dropping him into the sequel to GoG might have seemed like a mistake--but hell, I think it worked. Liked how a lot of the stuff in this one was sort of recursive with the first one (the Indian guy moving to the bottom of the hill and living in Andy's old house--with his dog!); thought the switcheroo on Cheung Man's character was stupid and unnecessary. The interplay between Lau and Chow was nifty, with both switching back and forth between comic/heroic roles easily, down to the final showdown. The coda (featuring an obvious clip from GoG one to provide a Chow Yun Fat "cameo") was stupid.

(3.5/5)