The Prince of Temple Street (1992)
Reviewed by: STSH on 2006-03-05
Summary: Creeps up on you
The opening scene, of a group of a dozen triad bosses who each in turn disown newborn baby who grows up to be Master Twelve (hence the name), seems to have been tacked on as an afterthought. The stellar cast who play the bosses play no further part in the movie, which is a shame.

Despite this strange twist, POTS is surprisingly good. Although it contains quite a few of the elements one has come to expect from a "triad recruitment" movie, POTS manages to surprise and entertain. Having Joey Wong as the (at first reluctant) romantic lead is, of course, a big plus. Looking far too glamorous to be a street evangelist, she is watchable and fascinating throughout, and is even convincing in her role, with enough wide-eyed innocence to make you almost believe she would risk her life to spread the good word in such a risky place. The scenes between her and Andy are terrific, helped along by marvelous cinematography and use of lighting.

The standout actors, though, are Deannie Yip and Ng Man-Tat, playing rather rowdy old couple. Deannie in particular plays her character, of a street-hustling brothelkeeper, with her heart on her sleeve, and despite Phoenix being such a rough one, engenders genuine sympathy and makes her lovable even with her failings.

And there are a few good character actors along the way as well. Chin Ho does does his maniacal best as Twelve's psycho rival, but his girlfriend is really something else. What a nasty piece of work. She makes him look a bit mild.

Somehow, this film just works. Recommended.
Reviewer Score: 6