Dancing Lion (2007)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2009-08-10
Summary: I bet that was funny.
Several times while watching "Dancing Lion" I thought, "that is probably pretty funny" but having neither the language nor the context to appreciate the Cantonese puns and Hong Kong political/cultural/social/commercial references the jokes themselves were beyond me.

Francis Ng's character has a slow and unexplained transformation from a 40 year old faux hip-hop guy who wouldn't know a gang sign from a stop sign to a committed leader of the Lion Dance community, taking on all comers—the police, the city administration, outraged citizens who get sick of the constant drumming, rival lion dancers from the Mainland—and finishing with a triumphant performance that satirizes at least on of the “Once Upon a Time in China” movies—the one in which Jet Li, as Wong Fei-Hung, runs across the backs of a bunch of people in order to get to the big fight. I think the ultimate battle between the two lion dance champions was taken from a scene in one of them as well. Anthony Wong must have been playing a character based on past movies—most of his dialog was set speeches declaimed as if he was haranguing a large crowd that hung on his every word. Since some of them were delivered in the kitchen of the family apartment, facing away from those eating dinner, they must have been a commentary on something.

Can’t really rate “Dancing Lion” since so much of it was simply unavailable to this viewer. The lion dance costumes/props were well done and shot very well with plenty of extreme close-ups of blinking eyes and snapping mouths. Phillip Ko Fei was a very robust seeming octogenarian billionaire with a bit of powder in his hair and eyebrows, dark glasses and a bit of a stoop that came and went. Lin Yuan was cute as a cute young woman while Lam Tze-Chung seemed bemused which worked for the character Nine who was usually a step behind his partner Fai.

If director Francis was in the chair while during actor Francis Ng’s scenes that made up the first half of the movie he needs some instruction on dealing with flamboyant actors.