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Q (1991)
The Top Bet

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 10/07/2007

Okay, before we start, there should probably be some clarification done about The Top Bet's lineage. It's a sequel to All for the Winner, which itself was a spinoff from the God of Gamblers films. But it has nothing to do with Saint of Gamblers, which is yet another sequel to All for the Winner.

Confused yet? Welcome to the wonderful world of Hong Kong movies. Please fasten your seat belt, leave your tray in the upright position, and get ready for takeoff.

At any rate, The Top Bet picks up where All for the Winner left off. The "Saint of Gamblers" (Stephen Chow) decides to head on a world gambling tour, which leaves his uncle (Ng Man-Tat) in a pickle when a powerful gangster (Jeff Lau) demands that the Saint appear at his tournament.

Luckily, the Saint's sister (Anita Mui) appears looking for him, but refuses to use her special gambling powers for profit. Uncle Ng heads out to look for a replacement and meets the "Queen of Gamblers" (Carol Cheng), whose skills make her look like a savior to him.

Ng convinces the Queen to enter the tournament, but she turns out to be just a glorified card-counter. After some bickering and hijinks, Cheng and Mui try and put aside their differences so that they can defeat the Saint's rival (Paul Chun Pui) and save themselves from getting taken out by the Triads.

Confused yet? Welcome to the wonderful world of Hong Kong movies. Would you like chicken or fish for your in-flight meal?

Actually, the plot's fairly easy to follow. But, like many Cantonese "nonsense comedies", a lot of the jokes don't translate very well to Western viewers. That's not to say someone new to Hong Kong movies won't find anything worth watching.

The cast does a fine job in creating humor that doesn't need wacky punch lines to be funny. But there are still a lot of jokes that are going to go over a lot of people's heads here, such as pop star Kenny Bee totally playing against type as a tongue-tied conflicted robber.

Another sticky point about The Top Bet are the actual gambling scenes. Say what you will about Wong Jing (the producer/director responsible for most of the films of the Gamblers series) but the man can craft some damn fine action when it comes to card playing.

Sadly, that's not the case here. Most of the matches involve people rubbing their hands while cheesy lightning effects sprout up. The film-makers try to liven things up with a couple of action sequences, but the violent wire-fu just feels out of place in what should just be a straight-up comedy.

Overall, though, The Top Bet has enough charm that it manages to overcome its' shortcomings -- at least to an extent. In the grand scale of Hong Kong gambling movies, this is a fairly minor entry, but is still something worth your time and money, especially if you are a fan of the genre.

[review from]

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 08/15/2003
Summary: OK i guess!!

I didn't have any expectations of this movie so when i watched it i was pleseantly suprised. Though not the best movie around, it did still entertain. The violence seemed a little out of place and there were slow patches, but i did get a few laughs out of it. By no means a great movie, but one that deserves a once viewing


Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 06/23/2002
Summary: Poor sequel

Although a sequel to All For The Winner, Corey Yuen was unable to save the film from looking much more than a copy of the original, just using a replacement for Stephen Chow.

The only thing really saving this film is Carol Cheng, the definite standout of the film. The rest of the 'comedy' is rediculously stupid, and is in true 'mo-lai-tou' fashion, a waste of time.

It's hard to get as far as I know, but is not really worth hunting down. If you come across if though, it is worth seeing if you want a laugh, assuming you like Stephen Chow type comedies.

Overall, a big disapointment in comparrison to the original, and the more I watch this one, the more I hate it.

Rating: 2.5/5

Reviewed by: danton
Date: 04/15/2002

As a direct sequel to Stephen Chiau's All for the winner, this movie takes basically the same formula (naive mainlander with special powers comes to HK and defeats some evil guy at the card table), uses the same supporting cast (including Ng Man-tat) but replaces Sing Chi's character with the double whammy of Anita Mui as Chiau's equally gifted sister, and Dodo Cheng as a con artist pretending to have special powers. It's all pretty silly, but entertaining nonetheless. We get to watch Dodo on fire, Anita as a kungu expert defeating a bunch of evil henchmen with Nunchuks, Ng Man-tat doing is usual spiel, Kenny Bee in a hilarious tough guy with a golden heart parody, and other such charming shenanigans. The master himself, Stephen Chiau, does two quick cameos at the beginning and the end. All in all, very entertaining flick. If you enjoyed AFTW, then don't miss this one. Recommended.

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 11/23/2001
Summary: Quite fun

TOP BET (1991) - Another entry in the most confusing series of movies in the world. This one is a parallel sequel to ALL FOR THE WINNER (aka SAINT OF GAMBLERS). After winning the competition at the end of AFTW, Saint Of Gambers (Stephen Chiau) decides to head off on a trip around the world. This leaves Uncle Tat in a difficult position when a Taiwanese triad type comes around announcing that Saint Of Gamblers must play for him in an upcoming tournament or Tat dies. That is, unless somebody better than the SOG can be found. As luck would have it, at that very moment SOG's sister (Anita Mui) turns up. But she won't gamble, because she has been sent by the mainland special powers people to arrest SOG for abusing his powers for gambling. Tat therefore heads to the fish market to find Queen Of Gamblers (Carol Cheng) to play for him instead. Confused yet? Wait until "Fairy Of Gamblers" is introduced :D.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit... Anita Mui & Carol Cheng between them still aren't quite Chiau Sing Chi's comedic match, but they give a good effort. Watching Anita Mui do Bruce Lee is reason enough to watch the movie IMO :) The plot is pretty typical of the 'special powers' side of the series, with a whole bunch of racial stereotypes thrown into the mix (Mainlanders get the roughest end of this). Some funny moments throughout, with Carol Cheng pretty much stealing the show...

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 12/26/1999
Summary: Sort-of sideways sequel to God Of Gamblers II

Much the same sort of antics, but even less entertaining.

Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: hktopten
Date: 12/21/1999

In this sequel to All For The Winner, Anita plays Stephen's sistersent by the Mainland Government to retrieve Stephen for abuses of his "Super Powers" in the Gambling Tournament. After the tornament in All for the Winner, Stephen's character left for a cruise and Ng Man Tat is stuck without a Saint of Gamblers for the NEXT tournament. He finds Carol Cheng's Tyrant of Gamblers, who claims to have the power to replace Stephen, only to find out she's a fraud. Meanwhile, Anita's crashing at Ng's house, but refuses to help. Paul Chun is studying the power with a master in order to avenge his embarassing loss in the last tournament. All this leads to a madcap finale.