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The God of Cookery

Reviewed by: Hyomil
Date: 04/07/2011

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Chungking_Cash
Date: 02/22/2010

"The God of Cookery," Stephen Chow's 37th appearance in a comedy in eight years, is a noticeable shift from the popular comedian's linguistic mo lai tau films of the early '90s, instead taking aim at the Asian and American markets simultaneously a la Jackie Chan's "Rumble in the Bronx" (1995) with this "Iron Chef" parody. Here, Chow's greatest asset as an entertainer is manipulating his audience into laughing with a jerk whose built an empire on being a phony and a cheat; feeling empathy for him when it collapses; and then rooting for him as he tries to get his namesake back even though it was never his to begin with. This is a cunningness rarely seen among Stephen Chow's peers that in-part makes the comedian Hong Kong's top box office draw.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: JohnR
Date: 05/31/2006
Summary: Vintage Stephen Chow

The plot's been described, so I'm so just going to throw in with those who liked this movie. I will also echo the praise for Karen Mok. She's one of my favorite actresses and part of the reason is that she constantly challenges herself in the roles she takes on. I have nothing against character actors, but when someone comes around who takes on a wide variety of roles and excels in them all, my admiration soars.

I've watched this at least three times and I'll watch it again. Stephen Chow is not the God of Comedy only because he can make us laugh. If he had chosen to do only drama, I'm convinced he would win award after award and be right up there with the likes of Chow Yun Fat. You can tell he demands the most from himself, and he constantly delivers.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 03/05/2006
Summary: Another great Stephen Chow film...

Stephen Chow has made a career of these characters that start off on top of the world and then get everything taken away from them. This is one of his best in that category. Once the God of Cookery, Stephen Chow publicly humiliated and disgraced by a power-hungry disciple. He falls in with the street vendors and with their help, tries to reclaim the title he once held. The comedy is terrifically dead-pan, and Karen Mok is also hilarious in her supporting role. Seeing this film will lead you to more Stephen Chow films - he's that enjoyable to watch.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: Dyogenez
Date: 12/26/2002
Summary: The one that started it all

God of Cookery was one of the first two HK movies I ever had the pleasure to watch. It turned out to be one of the best movie i'd seen, local or abroad, leaving me wanting more HK, and much more Stephen Chow. He is the life of the movie, as always for his releases. Although in this case, the storyline itself it comical enough with a lot of extras thrown in.

Stephen Chow plays "The God of Cookery" who is an arrogant, stubbern chef who holds competitions on who will be his successor. As he is much too arrogant to give up this posistion, no one stands a chance. Eventually he is dethroned and left out on the street leaving him to make a living and fight back to his previous glory with only a few street chefs. If you saw Shaolin Soccer, you will love this one too!


Reviewed by: dzong2
Date: 12/10/2002
Summary: The quickest 90 minutes of my life....

Okay...First of all. I don't think this movie is quite as funny as its reputation, which is partially my fault for not understanding the Cantonese wordplay and double entendres...That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and it probably flew by faster than any movie I can ever remember seeing...As I am the 20th reviewer, I am pretty sure you already know the plot. Stephen Chow stars as a cocky celebrity chef in Hong Kong who loses everything when he gets framed by his evil, apprentice. Stephen Chow is his usually wild, funny self, (especially in the final scene) but the real kudos go to the supporting actresses. Karen Mok (ugly as hell until the end....breaking into song for no reason) and Nancy Sit (in a cameo as the Final Competition Judge) are what really made me laugh. Another cool thing is that a lot of the supporting cast stays the same through all of Chow's movies...He's got his own little triad going...8/10

Reviewed by: resdog781
Date: 06/07/2002

I just can't get out of my mind how similar this movie would be in my mind to what the "Iron Chef" movie adaptation would be. All that's missing is Chairman Kaga.

Anyway, this is the Stephen Chow I'm used to seeing: Cocky, arrogant, and incredibly stupid.

He plays a "master cook", the "God Of Cookery", if you will, who actually knows nothing about cooking, and cares only about the benjamins. Exposed as a fraud by a student of his rival, he is humiliated and kicked out of the cooking industry, until good-hearted but incredibly ugly stall vendor Sister Turkey (great performance by Karen Mok) makes him realize that cooking is not about the money, but about the heart. Awwww....

Along the way, he learns the true meaning of life while being held prisoner in the Shaolin Temple. This gives way to one of the funniest running gags in the film....EIGHTEEN BRONZEMEN OF SHAOLIN!!!! :)

Anyway, great performance by Chow, who is humbled by the experience and returns to face the "student" who betrayed him....complete with wizened white hair!

And yeah, that dude that dresses like a girl and picks his nose is in this movie too. Hurrah.

Anyway, if they just tweaked the movie a little bit and threw in Chairman Kaga, I would have to say this would have been THE BEST Stephen Chow movie ever made. But it's just gonna have to settle for a tie with Shaolin Soccer :)

Reviewed by: zarrsadus
Date: 05/27/2002
Summary: I'm with the "I loved It" crowd

Finally bought the DVD of this after seeing it originally a year or more ago, and even after seeing a lot more of Chow's other films, the comedy here still had me laughing the second time around. Classic Stephen Chow at his best, poking fun at celebrity chefs and the like. I may be biased since I'm majoring in restaurant management, but watching this movie was pure entertainment and highly recommended to everyone as a great comedy. Overall, 10/10.

Reviewer Score: 10

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 04/16/2002
Summary: Poor

I agree with half of the reviewers here, the half that didn't really like it. For Stephen Chow, it's pretty average, but by '96 most of his style had gone anyway. Some of it is quite good, but it's not funny, and most of it is boring.

Rating: 2/5

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: danton
Date: 01/03/2002

The story is quite simple: Stephen play a master chef who has sold out his cooking talent to capitalist greed and at the height of his fame and wealth get's backstabbed by his backers and ends up penniless and with a ruined reputation. With the help of a street vendor played by Karen Mok, he rediscovers his talent and works his way to a final showdown with his enemies in a official cooking competition that reminded me a lot of the hilarious Japanese Iron Chef series.

The movie is a mixed bag - some of the cooking duels are hilarious and feature dazzling effects (imagine cooking done like a wuxia swordfight, and you get the picture). The training scenes at the Shaolin temple are fun too, but overall, it seemed like the same old Stephen Chow shtick... Enjoyable, but not as funny as some of his earlier offerings.

Special mention should go to Karen Mok, who does a great job making herself look ugly in the movie.

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 07/18/2001
Summary: Surreal and Stylish

GOC is a strange and surreal film, all pumped full of melodrama to the point of bursting. Stephen Chiau is the God Of Cookery, and a proper bastard. Betrayed and down on his luck, he is taken in by street Noodle vendor Karen Mok, and learns some lessons about life. Not all that many, but some :-)

From the start I loved the feel of the film - the complete melodramatic overflow. Jingle Ma's cinematography plays a big role in this, and is deserves commendation. Scenes are staged and shot brilliantly OTT. Most of the comedy in the movie comes from playing up this absurd melodrama, rather than lots of verbal jokes. It's just the way characters will face of each other, and the camera will linger on their facial expressions just long enough to make them ridiculous, and other such things. Add to this the way the cooking scenes are (brilliantly) filmed in such a gloriously serious kung-fu style.

It felt more surreal to me than most Chiau films do, though on reflection if I'd treated FROM BEIJING WITH LOVE in the same way I might have enjoyed it more. There's less heart and message than you'd find in the best of Chiau's films, but the visual and directorial style make it a lot of fun to watch.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: mehaul
Date: 07/04/2001

Excellent comedy. With similar plot timeline as G-d of Gamblers. Stephen Chow is great in the title role as he goes from riches to rags and back to riches.

Reviewed by: spanishninja
Date: 06/08/2001
Summary: Definitely one of Chow's Best

"God of Cookery", along with "King of Comedy", the "Royal Tramp" movies, and "From Beijing with Love", is one of Stephen Chow's best work. Furthermore, "God..." marks a turning point in Chow's career, where he noticeably shifts from mo-lei-tau to more cerebral and dramatic movies (that are still equally funny).

Chow plays the reigning "God of Cookery" (whose real name never gets mentioned, by the way), who is a great theoretical chef but has not done actual cooking ever since he made it big in business. As he cared more about profit margins and less about cooking itself, he becomes cruel to his employees and negligent about the way good food is prepared. One day, a plan to overthrow this "god" by one of his competitors is revealed as he is publicly upstaged and humiliated by his apprentice (Vincent Kok).

Having lost his empire, he is banished to the streets, where he meets scarred Sister Turkey, played by Karen Mok (might I say that the guts she shows for putting on that repulsive make-up gained her respect from me that is endless just like the flooding of the yellow river). From here, he seeks to regain everything he has lost through "pissing shrimp beef balls", which become such a culinary sensation that it gave him a chance to compete for the title of "god of cookery". Through it all, he remembers what it means to be a great chef, and along the way, also finds unlikely love in Sister Turkey, who is secretly his greatest fan.

All the performances in this movie are fantastic. Ng Man-Tat chooses to play a villain here, and proves that he can play the bad guy just as well as the good guy. Karen Mok was a gem here, and Vincent Kok was excellent as Chow's antagonist. Throw in some hilarious gags (e.g. the "Usual Suspects"-type interrogation scene) and you have yourself a Chow flick for the ages. Rating = 10/10

Reviewed by: Trigger
Date: 05/29/2001
Summary: Must Own comedy title

I can't remember a film where I laughed so hard. This is one of the funniest films ever. If you haven't seen it, you must. My girlfriend loved it too. We had tears in our eyes from laughing so hard.

Seen on: DVD - Universe Laser
Rating: Movie - 8.8/10!

You must get this one.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: nomoretitanic
Date: 04/18/2001
Summary: I loved it

I've seen other Stephen Chow features before this one, but I consider this to be the one that makes me a fan. This movie blows me away.

Chow's laid back attitude (which gets more or less wrecked by his overacting mandarin dubbing guy), works great here. There is never much self-pity, no cheap laughters involving lonely kids/dogs. Every gag is earned, even the gross gags are well thoughtout.

One thing I love about Stephen Chow's movies is that even though they can be very satirical, they are never straight parodies. There are always hints of poignant human comedies that keep the movie's feet on the ground. The chemistry between Chow and Karen Mok here is that poignant element in this movie. It's cute their relationship.

The Shaolin monks are the funniest part of the movie, and good thing they have a considerate amount of screentime. The movie is a lot funnier if you understand what they're satirizing--the commercials, the martial arts movies, the names to the dishes, the subtitles are awful, LEARN CHINESE YOU GWAILOS. That's all for now. Good job Stephen, good job.

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 02/28/2001
Summary: BAD

High expectations and was greatly disappointed!! I am a big fan but i just didn't laugh!! The only part i laughed at was the golden shaolin monks!! BORED unfortunately with this one


Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: Fuck You
Date: 02/23/2001
Summary: Stephen Chiau (also known as Stephen Chow) at his BEST

This is a hilarious comedy from Stephen Chiau (also known as Stephen Chow). As you may have figured out from the title, the story revolves around Hong Kong's "God Of Cookery" (played by Stephen Chiau) who has become power hungry and loses touch with what cooking should be about. This leads to him to "lose everything to his evil, ambitious understudy." He ends up recruiting an "unsightly street vendor who is secretly in love with him." Although I imagine this film is funnier for the native viewer, most of the jokes still worked for me.
My favorite thing about this film is that half way through it managed to escape the fairly formulaic nature of what was going on and ended up surprising me and really drawing me into the story, silly as it was. The final cook-off ups the ante and is genuinely hysterical, especially to those of us who are familiar with the conventions of fantasy based kung-fu films. The cooking of food with
"internal power" is the highlight.
A couple years ago there was talk of this film being re-made with Jim Carry in the lead role and it would have been directed by Stephen Chiau. I dunno what's happening with that, but it could be a fun film if it did or will happen.

Reviewed by: ElectraWoman
Date: 10/12/2000
Summary: 6/10-A so-so offering from Stephen Chow

Well the other reviewers have done a great job explaining the plot :) So all I'll do is express my opinion.

I agree with the reviewer who said this film was bland. I thought so too! While there are some funny jokes in this, I thought there were too many scenes that were overly exaggerated. See, to me, the funniest movies and scenes come when they are somewhat rooted in reality, and this movie, on the whole, was so exaggerated it just wasn't funny. Besides, Chow has done better than this in the past. It's alright, but definitely not his best.

Reviewed by: hellboy
Date: 09/04/2000
Summary: One of my favorite HK films

Stephen Chow is great but Karen Mok is even better! Karen Mok plays Twin Dagger Turkey a disfigured noodle shop owner who harbors a secret crush on the god of cookery. Mok portrays Turkey with all the gusto you would expect, having fun in an unglamourous role that would have sent most HK actresses screaming into the night. An hilarious film with a great storyline which playfully goes back and forth in time with a lot of narrative being explained in the form of flashback. A long awaited sequel may now be in the works according to recent reports from HK. 10/10

Reviewer Score: 10

Reviewed by: tdmath
Date: 09/03/2000
Summary: This movie made me hungry

I finally broke down and decided to watch this movie after my wife has become addicted to the Iron Chef show on the Food Channel.

Stephen Chow is the reigning God of Cookery and milks his position to the max. Hoodwinked by his manager and an underling, he is disgraced and loses his title, only to partially regain his stature by inventing a soup meatball that has a drug-like effect on all who eat it. This opens the way for him to compete against the incumbent who had deceived him before. The best part of the film is the final competition; the lady judge is hilarious and somehow the director has managed to employ wire-fu techniques to a cooking show. Don't ask, just see the movie.

Reviewed by: Chuma
Date: 07/12/2000
Summary: That's one way to save on gas...

The God of Cookery starts of with a cooking competiton between the
best cooks in Hong Kong with the famous 'God of Cookery' presiding
over the competition and issuing his harsh criticism to all the

However, the God of Cookery is a sham. He can't actually cook
and is relying on clever marketing and is surrounded by YES men.
Enter onto the scene a talented youngster, who is accepted by
The God as an assistant when he agrees to do something in front
of the lift.

It all seems well for The God, however he is confronted by his
assistant who challenges him and asks if he can actually cook
at all. The God is then arrested after some of his customers
got sick from eating 'British Beef' and he ends up being usurped
by the newcomer.

After the new 'God of Cookery' becomes famous, the old God disapears
and no-one knows where he has gone, he turns up at a food vendor
on Temple Street and is still critising the food, however he gets
beaten up a lot by the gang from the street and is befriended by
Turkey, the female food vendor who takes a liking to him.

In a fight between the rival food vendors in which Turkey is one
of the bosses of, The Former God speaks out of turn and is about
to be punished by the other boss when Turkey saves him and proves
that she has really strong arm muscles by cutting a table in half.

It starts to go completely mental after this point, but I'll leave
it to you to find out what happens. All I'm going to say is that
The Former God of Cookery and the New God face of against each other
and we get to meet 'The 18 Bronze Men of Shaolin'.

This has to be one of the funniest movies I've seen in quite a while,
at one stage I started to feel dizzy I was laughing so hard
(around about the time 'The 18 Bronze Men of Shaolin' were introduced).

The cooking sequences are also very well done and some of the funniest
moments of the film are actually some of the people's reactions to the
food on tasting it.

I would recommend this film to people who like comedies, but make
sure you have eaten beforehand or you will be very hungry by the
time the film finishes!

Rating : 8/10

Reviewed by: jfierro
Date: 12/21/1999

Once again, Stephen plays a cruel, mischeivous, supertalented egomaniac who is humbled, learns his lesson, and tries to recapture his glory. This seems to be a theme Stephen is fixated with. Like his older films, this movie has plenty of great gags and a decent story, but it gets carried away with itself at the end. What is different, though, is that this movie is almost stolen by a supporting character, namely Karen Morris. She bravely trashes her own beauty to play a comic yet touching character a la Eddie Murphy in THE NUTTY PROFESSOR. And like Eddie, she becomes completely lost in her great makeup job so that you essentially forget it's even her. I recommend this film for her performance alone. Even Ng Man-Tat seems to have been inspired. You might not recognize him with gray hair, without his mustache, and actually acting for a change.

Reviewed by: hktopten
Date: 12/21/1999

I remember someone once said for an artist to do good work he or she must put a little piece of his or her soul into it. Well, this film is the heart and soul of Stephen Chiau Sing Chi. I am not as impressed by the makeup jobs as Joe and Pablo were, (Probably because I saw them in articles before the film was released) but I agree that Karen Morris again performed greatly in her role, Turkey. With the outstanding work in Sexy and Dangerous and Young and Dangerous 3 I think we are beginning to see her becoming a character actor more than a flower vase. Also worth mentioning is Vincent Kuk Tak Siu, director of Chiau's last film Forbidden City Cop as his nemesis in this film,

Reviewed by: pablo
Date: 12/09/1999

Chow, self-proclaimed 'God of Cookery', has strayed from theculinary path, spending more time profiting from his image than actually cooking. When he gets exposed by a rival chef Bull Tong, Chow loses everything, and is forced to beg for food in the Temple Street markets. Things start to turn around when Sister Turkey takes an interest in him. Maybe I'm finally getting tired of the Steven Chow formula, but this film struck me as being pretty bland. If you've seen enough of his films, you pretty much know how this story is going to unfold, if not the details. What really saved the film was Karen Joy Morris, who made me really care about her character. Overall, an entertaining, but hardly original, film.

Reviewed by: spinali
Date: 12/08/1999
Summary: NULL

The concept here is an homage to Japanese TV shows like The Chef and Iron Chef, with dashes of The Chinese Feast, God of Gamblers, and King of Beggars tossed in for seasoning. Stephen Chow is HK's top master chef, who's willing to condemn the most delicious dish on the basis of the cook being ugly; he's also a conceited snob whose chain restaurants are making customers sick. It's a frame-up, of course, initiated by his porcine protege, Bull Tong (Vincent Kok), who eventually ascends to Chow's former position. Chow is taken in by the bucktoothed proprietor of a street stand (Karen Joy Morris), whose "Pissing Beef Balls" are as elastic as superballs, and can heal the sick. Now Chow must prepare for next year's cooking competition and unseat his rival; and he does this by entering a Buddhist monastery, where the abbot sucks out his accumulated bodily poisons through his penis. He also gets beaten regularly by the 18 Brassmen of the monastery every time he tries to escape, leaving a smear of blood on the pavement every time they drag him back in. The final face-off occurs in HK's Jumbo Floating Restaurant, where Tong pits his sumptuous Buddha Jumping Wall stew against Chow's nirvanic Sorrowful Rice -- but the competition is fixed. To fix the fix, there's a deus ex machina ending that's just perfect, as three Bodisattvas descend from heaven and undertake divine justice amidst some cool special effects.


[Reviewed by Steve Spinali]

Reviewer Score: 5