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s (1990)
Lung Fung Restaurant

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 07/18/2007

Lung Fung Restaurant is a heavy-handed romantic comedy about a young ex-con and a club girl. The young man, named Lung, works in a busy restaurant, trying to live an honest life. The problem is that his best friend from the old days hangs out there, and his triad boss uses the place to meet with other bosses to settle disputes. Lung, played by Max Mok Siu-Chung, keeps getting drawn back to his old ways. His old friend is played by Stephen Chow Sing-Chi and his boss is played by Ng Man-Tat. There is a joke there somewhere.

Later, the boy's celebrate something at a nightclub. Lung meets Gigi, one of the "club girls", played by Ellen Chan Nga-Lun. They hit it off. Lots of snappy dialogue is included for Chow as he tries to "hook" girls, which everybody seems to be interested in. Honestly, Max Mok Siu-Chung's wide-eyed puppy-love expression is only a few shades from him being Sam Lee or Sammy Leung. Anyway, later we find out that Gigi's real name is Fung. So, we have Lung, who works in a restaurant, and Fung, who doesn't want to be a whore forever, in a movie called Lung Fung Restaurant. There is a joke or some irony there somewhere. They don't cook together. Things don't go so well. Ham-handed direction by Poon Man-Kit makes this film a little tough to watch.

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/26/2006

Despite the cover art and the starring role of Stephen Chow, Lung Fung Restaurant is not the comedy one might expect. Rather, it is a Triad drama which has Max Mok as a rascal who gets out of jail and begins working at a teahouse. His Triad buddy Stephen looks him up and they sets about their old antics. Later, Max meets up with a pretty club girl (Ellen Chan) and thinks he might be able to change his ways -- but the "brotherhood" won't let him go so easily.

Lung Fung Restaurant's main problem is that this sort of picture has been done dozens of times before, and it adds nothing new into the mix. Experienced viewers will be able to tell all the "twists" a mile away (though the ending is surprisngly upbeat for a movie of this type). Also, in this movie, one can really see why Max Mok was never considered a real leading man. His acting is leaden, and Ellen Chan's stereotypical "jade vase" performance doesn't help matters any. There are a couple of action sequences thrown in to try and liven things up, and Stephen Chow does brighten matters when he's onscreen (even though his role consists of going around and swearing for most of the movie), but ultimately, Lung Fung Restaurant is brought down by its' mediocrity.

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Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 03/10/2002
Summary: Unfocussed and kind of boring

1990 was certainly a busy year for Stephen Chiau, with no less than 11 movies bearing his name. Lung Fung Restaurant is one of them. I imagine that he was filming this in parallel with something else, as he tends to come and go throughout the movie.

Max Mok and Stephen Chiau are two rascals, but Max has some idea about going straight after coming out of jail so he takes a job as a waiter at a restaurant (presumably the restaurant of the title, although since it hardly features in the movie the title is a strange choice). It doesn't take much for Stephen to tempt him back though, and soon they're out "hooking" girls and collecting debts and presumably other rascally things. Ellen Chan and Charlene Chan are two club girls - Ellen apparently being unusual because she doesn't sleep with the customers, rather tricks them out of money by leading them on.

The guys & the gals meet in a situation of conflict, but there's an instant spark between Ellen & Max. Max resolves that he's going to be the one to pop her cherry, whatever it takes. Meanwhile, Stephen and Max have ruffled the feathers of a rival gang's boss, and the new head of their society doesn't seem like he wants to support them.

LFR is a love story of sorts, with the relationship between Max & Ellen taking up most of the screen time. Their relationship is woven around their particular lifestyles as a rascal and a club girl, and I think writer Yip Wai Chung was possibly trying to make it a bit of a morality play showing how these lifestyles cause complications and unhappiness. It's not particularly clear what he might have been trying to get across though, as the movie is decidedly unfocussed. I think it was trying to be a character piece, so there's lots of scenes showing their relationships with their friends etc. Except the characters don't end up feeling very developed at all, because they seem to have no particular depth or consistency. They're also not very likeable a lot of the time, which makes it difficult to care about them.

Things kind of wander on, there's happy bits then there's some conflict etc etc. Nothing horrible about any of it, but it's all kind of boring. I'm sure there was some potential in there, but they either didn't have the time or didn't have the talent to develop it very well.

It might have faired better if the subtitles on the Universe DVD weren't so appallingly bad, but I kind of doubt it :( I did like the ending though.

Not really recommended unless you really want to see every Stephen Chiau movie there is.

Reviewed by: Yellow Hammer
Date: 12/05/2000

Lung (as in Dragon), played by Max Mok, has just gotten out of jail and is on the straight, working at the Lung Fung Restaurant. Pool (as in swimming pool) is an old acquaintance. Together they have a hard time staying out of trouble. Lung meets a hostess bar girl, played by Ellen Chan. Her best friend June (played by Charine Chan) is a meddlesome but good friend. Lung and the hostess bar girl are the story in this bittersweet drama punctuated by 'get-togethers' with old friends and enemies. Decent film, nothing spectacular.

Reviewed by: sleung
Date: 12/09/1999

A romance/gangster action film starring Max Mok as a "goo wat jie"who falls in love with a hostess at a hostess bar played by Ellen Chan Ar-Lun. An entirely average film that manages to entertain with the retelling of a familiar plot: can love make the criminal reform his ways? Stephen Chow Sing-Chi, in the days before he became a major superstar, has a supporting role as a friend and fellow gang member of Max Mok. 65 out of 100.


Reviewer Score: 6