A Chinese Ghost Story II (1990)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2005-09-08
Summary: Disappointing sequel...
A Chinese Ghost Story II continues the story of Ning Tsai (Leslie Cheung) the tax collector and his undying love for Hsiao Tsing, the ghost from the original. As the movie starts, Ning is mistaken for a local criminal and is thrown in jail. There he meets an old writer and poet who shows him an escape tunnel the night before he is to executed. Back in the free world, Ning steals a horse and goes to hide in an abandoned house, which of course is haunted. The horse's owner, Autumn (Jackie Cheung) finds Ning and is drawn into the story when he is able to ward off malevolent spirits with his Taoist magic. However, it turns out that the ghosts are not real, but bandits led by two sisters, Windy (Joey Wong) and Moon (Michelle Reis), on a mission to save their political activist father from being executed by the emperor. Windy looks exactly like Ning's former love, so he is instantly convinced that he has garnered a second chance at happiness. The story meanders along as the group tries to rescue the father, protect themselves against the ghost living in the temple and battle a powerful false Buddha demon who is set to destroy the ruling body of China.

This is an incredibly unevenly paced movie, with the director seemingly trying to weave three or four major story lines one film and failing to succeed in making any of the interesting. You never really know which story you should be following, be it the love story between Ning and Windy, the rescue of the father, or the battles with the spirits and powerful false Buddha. Two of the story lines would have been sufficient to carry the movie, but instead it becomes jumbled. The acting is decent, with a very funny performance turned in by Jackie Cheung as the Taoist Autumn. Another glaring problem is the special effects. The monsters that the group battle look absolutely awful, appearing to be leftovers from bad 50's monster flicks. It seemed as if the filmmakers concentrate more on covering the monsters and actors with slime than coming up with good effects.
Reviewer Score: 4