You are currently displaying Big5
EsB (2001)
Goodbye Mr. Cool

Reviewed by: Hyomil
Date: 04/07/2011

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 06/26/2007
Summary: mixed reception...

cool dragon (ekin cheng) has just arrived back in hong kong after six years in a thai prison. initially sent to thailand to collect some debts for his boss, cool ended up serving time and missing his father's funeral. having had plenty of time to think, cool decides to leave the triad life behind him and start again.

arriving back in hong kong, he finds that his old friend, hong (lam suet), has had the same idea and is running a cafe that he and cool bought some years before. after brushing off requests to return to his old life, cool finds himself looking after the six year old son, siu lung (tam wai-ho),he never knew existed. cool is cool with this and embraces the chance to atone for his past by raising his son, unfortunately helen (karen mok), the boy's mother, longs for the cool she used to know and begins to hatch a scheme in an attempt to draw him back into the life...

well, reviews for this film are certainly mixed; seems like people love it or hate it. me, i thought it was okay. ekin cheng actually does a pretty good job and has a good thing going with lam suet and rain li (who plays siu lung's teacher). still, whilst jingle ma adds a touch of class to proceedings, a rather clumsy final act stops it from reaching the heady heights of above average. it's a reasonable watch, although 'where a good man goes' walked a similar line, much more successfully.


Reviewed by: Graeme Noble
Date: 03/25/2004
Summary: Great

The Best film to come out of HK in years, excellent story and a really cool end battle on top of a HK skyscraper to end things, but this film has a great plot!
9/10 - for the film
5/10 - for action freaks

Reviewed by: mehaul
Date: 05/27/2002

Trite story about triad member, Ekin Cheng, who tries to go straight after being released from a thai prison. While working at a former gang member's restaurant his ex-girlfriend, who has been babysitting his gang while he was imprisoned, dumps their six year kid in his lap. Next thing you know the kid's 20 year-old school teacher and Cheng are making eyes for each other. Some nice performances can't make up for the plot and unexciting action.

Reviewed by: Dyogenez
Date: 05/09/2002

I'm not much of a triad fan, but this one I really liked. The storyline is very simple, with flashbacks to clue you in to what the characters are thinking. The plot is great, and Ekin Cheng is great as an ex-triad leader. The story is really telling how much someone can change, and how there is hope. Someone dealing with something new and trying not to be tempted by his past. It has a lot of great acting, and jokes to fill some the gaps and slow parts, which there are few. 8/10.

Reviewed by: silver7
Date: 04/18/2002
Summary: Not Bad

Never mind the storyline - it's re-iterated many time in the other usual, with many other chinese triad movies, I was disappointed with the ending. I find that in a great triad movie, you build an attachment with a character and then that character has to die - so typical...not that this movie was the greatest triad movie...but it did it to me again. The movie started out a little slow, but mostly because it had to combine in several flashbacks to flesh out the past of the main character, Lung. I feel that Lung's fate could have been avoidable have it not been for the stupid insensitive actions of his ex-girlfriend Helen. Many times, I wish I could have grabbed her by the arm and told her to "get over him and leave him be", especially in front of the eyes of their child. The most disappointing aspect of the movie left me thinking how children of traid members react to their parents dying due to the tragic circumstances of their lives. Though it was just a movie, I felt for Siu Lung, and the fact that that little kid was able to produce tears left me feeling sentimental as well upon the unexpected twist of the ending. Similarly, I wonder how many triad-recruits yearn for that forgiveness from their parents and loved ones - tragically to only receive it when it's too late. I felt that this movie tried to create more drama than action as to depict the nature of trying to run away from your roots to the underground. Ekin Cheng was a little bit more emotional than his past movies - however, he still gave the same expression in most of the scenes - the cold, stony look, perhaps menacing? All in all, it was not a bad movie - and if you're willing to put yourself into the movie with patience and understanding, it is worth your 2 hrs to seek out the underlying messages associated with the movie.

Reviewed by: grimes
Date: 03/17/2002
Summary: Ekin acting?

I was in shock after seeing this film because unless I have gone insane (a distinct possibility), I would have to say that Ekin Cheng actually acted in this film, showing not one, not two, but a _full_ range of emotions!

The film itself is not too great, not too bad. My biggest objection with it was how it undercut itself. It wants to be a serious drama about a gangster trying to reform. But it also features flashback scenes about this gangster's triad life, complete with flashy cinemtography and rock guitar soundtrack, glorifying violence in the way only film can.

So we're left with something that's two-thirds drama (and reasonably well acted, at that) and one-third Y&D style triad film, which means that none of it really succeeds in its goals.

Despite that, it does have some interesting dramatic moments and it may be worth seeing just to prove to yourself that Ekin is in fact _not_ the completely empty pretty-boy shell you may have thought he was.

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 12/01/2001
Summary: Mostly boring

GOODBYE MR COOL - Mr Cool (Ekin) returns to Hong Kong after some years in a Thai prison, and vows to leave the underworld. But will the underworld let him leave? He also discovers he's got a son in HK, and trys to become a good father. All in all, rather dull affair... script and performances are rather flat, with a few moments excepted. The child actor is a cute young chap but absolutely cannot act. Ekin comes off little better here. The visuals are nice but not groundbreaking, soundtrack is pleasant enough.

DVD is not too bad, except for being double sided... presumably due to the inclusion of a DTS track and Mei-Ah's inability/reluctance to learn how to make a dual layer DVD Nice holographic cover though

Reviewed by: sushi_x
Date: 09/17/2001
Summary: More Than Just A Triad Story.

A lot of people probably thought that this movie sucked because perhaps it didn't meet the expectations of Young & Dangerous. Now personally, I thought this movie was heaps good because it showed how once someone becomes a triad, it'll change their life forever. The film is about an ex-triad Cool Dragon trying to make a new and fresh start to his life after being released from a Thai prison for 6 years. He returns to Hong Kong where he would work ad live in a cafe called 'Kowloon Ice House' owned by an old friend, Hong. However, his return to HK would rock the triad world with many of his old triad buddies asking him to lead them. Though Cool rejected them, this brought jealousy amongst other triad leaders. One of which is Volcano. Cool also ran into his son, Siu Lung. Cool is forced to look after his so-called son in the meantime but their father-son relationship began to grow stronger. Also coming into the picture is Siu Lung's mother, Cool's ex-girlfriend Helen. Her love for Cool drew the attention of her current mob-boss boyfriend, Prince. After Helen messes things up trying to bring Cool back to the triad life, it brought jealousy and humiliation among Prince and with Volcano stirring things up between Pince and Cool, they would meet and fight to the death. Though Cool would win the fight, considering being lame, he was unexpectedly stabbed by some idiot gangster who was claiming revenge. Cool's life ended right there. Leaving broken hearts, many tears and a broken promise with hi Siu Lung behind. A sad and unexpected ending and good inside plot made this movie excellent. A must-see for Ekin fans.

Reviewed by: GenXcops_Jack
Date: 08/30/2001
Summary: movie sucked balls 1.9/5

it was a wanna be "True Mod Story", very badly done at that. the little kid had the best performance in the entire movie. ekin has his roles and movies, and this role and movie isn't one of them. i just hope and pray ZU and Wind & Cloud 2 will be better.

lang_mui85 don't say watever to those guys down there. they've reviewed countless movies and wrote extensive reviews. contributed tons to this site. who the hell are u to say watever to them u bitch. respect them for that, don't hate them cuzz they have higher tastes. ur too lowbrow to say anything to them.

1.9/5 (not quite good enough to break the 2 mark)

Reviewed by: lang_mui85
Date: 08/09/2001
Summary: watever.... tis movie rocks....

alrite... here's the shiet all this movie...
cool(ekin) gets set up by his gang and lands himself in jail for 6 years... he comes out and tries to start all over... one day... he meets tis boy that claims to be his son... while he's trying to leave the triad world... problems juss keep coming his way... so basically... tis movie's about cool trying to be a good father and leaving the gang world... tis movie is touching... like if u know people from gangs or if u're in one... if u in one... den u should juss sit by yourself and seriously watch tis movie... it'll make u think twice bout wat u're getting into... tis movie doesn't glamourize about triad... it shows the bad stuff bout it... and the stuff that u can't juss walk away from it...
tis movie is a must see for all those gangster people and those gangster wannabes... but it's a movie for bout everybody... and that kid is so cute in the movie...
aight... wellz.. u know wat to do now... got pick it up... it's worth ur money...

Reviewed by: Paul Fonoroff
Date: 05/24/2001

The cards are mercilessly stacked in Goodbye Mr. Cool, a sentimental exercise in hypocrisy made all the more objectionable for its surface sheen and polish. Dragon (well-played by Ekin Cheng) is an extremely cool ex-con who has learned his lesson after serving six years in a Thai prison. Dragon, now a semi-cripple, is content for the simple life of a waiter in the Kowloon Café (which is also the movie’s Chinese title), a typical Shanghai Street blue-collar eatery.

The scriptwriters contrive to make Dragon's reformation as "dramatic" as possible. It seems nobody believes in his goodness. It isn’t enough that his former henchmen pay abeyance and want him to continue to be godfather, but a nasty rival (Jackie Lui) conspires to put Dragon out of action permanently. An ex-lover turned Queen of the Underworld (Karen Mok) schemes to make him come out of retirement and be her consort. Her current boyfriend, a Taiwanese gang leader (Huang Pinyuan), not surprisingly takes offense and is also on the warpath.

Poor "Mr. Cool". A man of peace, he is forced to fight and rumble and show his pugilistic prowess. And then there’s the son he never knew existed, a cute six-year-old who, neglected by his mother, cloyingly takes up residence in the Kowloon Café. The issue of child abuse, rarely dealt with in Hong Kong movies, is here treated with a dismaying saccharinity. To the film’s credit is the depth of Karen Mok’s mobster, a complex person whose disregard for her child has solid psychological roots. By contrast, the other lady in Dragon’s life (Rain Li Choi-wah), his son’s primary school teacher, is as pretty as she is vapid.

This must be the year for ex-convicts-turned-responsible dads, for Andy Lau faced a similar situation after finishing a lengthy prison term in A Fighters Blues. Whether the father is Tiger or Mr. Cool, it’s a plot convention that deserves to be put out of its misery.

Despite the lower class milieu, director-cinematographer Jingle Ma gives Goodbye Mr. Cool the gloss of his previous “middle class” box office hits, Fly Me to Polaris and Summer Holiday. Once again, he demonstrates taste and sensitivity in the service of a script laden with ersatz emotion and sham circumstances. Most offensive is the manner in which Dragon ultimately proves his worth by demonstrating he has lost none of his inner gangster. It is a message diametrically opposed to the ostensible theme of Goodbye Mr. Cool, but—let’s face it—without the triad mystique it’s not easy to turn a limping waiter into an icon of cool.

2 Stars

This review is copyright (c) 2001 by Paul Fonoroff. All rights reserved. No part of the review may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: Paul Fox
Date: 05/01/2001
Summary: Goodbye Mr. Cool Leaves You Cold.

Ekin Cheng leads the cast in this gangster film that feels more like it belongs in the early 90s as opposed to the new millenium.  Not to say that Goodbye Mr. Cool is a bad film, but it seems rather out of place for the era.

Ekin plays the character of Lung (which means dragon, but is translated in the subtitles as Cool).  After serving time in a Thai prison for an attempted triad hit, he reforms and decides to lead a simple life.  But he cannot so easily escape from the shadows of his past life when he returns to Hong Kong.  He tries to take up the simple position of a waiter in a Kowloon Teahouse run by an old friend.  News of his return soon reaches the ears of his ex-girlfriend Helen.  She is disappointed with the 'new' Lung and wants the reputable man of the past to return.

For the most part the story is quite intriguing and it successfully runs  back and forth through past and present events in such a way that the flashbacks do not become cumbersome.  The best scene being a rather funny memory of Lung and his buddies on their first extortion job.  For a film of this genre, the performances are all above grade with the most notable being Karen Mok as the manipulative Helen.  Ekin Cheng pulls of his performance, but this role might have been better portrayed by someone else.  This indeed may be no fault of Ekin Cheng as an actor but perhaps the Ho Nam character from the Young and Dangerous series is still clinging to him a bit too tightly.  Rain Li gives a decent performance as well with her portrayal of Ms. Mung, a young teacher with a crush on Lung.

The big downfall of the film is its finale.  The entire story builds to a confrontation between Lung and Helen's new boyfriend Prince.  An honorable fight between the two is ruined by a gimmick typical to the triad genre, but of course this should come as no surprise given the title of the film, so viewer be warned, Mr. Cool will not leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Overall review rating : 2.5

Review by Paul Fox

Location:  AMC Festival Walk

Time: Thursday 19 April   5:15pm