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The Magic Touch

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/18/2003

Before Stephen Chow was the king of Hong Kong comedies, it was Michael Hui (along with his brothers Ricky and Sam) that created the first true modern Cantonese comedies with popular films such as Private Eyes and the Aces Go Places series. During the late 1980's, more scatalogical humor became the norm, and the Hui's more family-friendly humor fell by the wayside. But this comeback of sorts proved that the Hui family could still create a humorous movie that didn't depend on bodily functions, naked body parts or profanity to make a box office hit.

The story has Michael Hui playing a bogus psychic who is under investigation for tax fraud by a lazy agent (Leon Lai). After Michael gets hit on the head while saving a damsel in distress, he actually becomes able to read minds, but only while touching someone's hand. Leon sees an opportunity to impress his boss (Philip Chan) and get a promotion by taking down a drug dealer, using Michael's abilty to find out where the dealer is keeping his financial records.

While the plot is pretty thin, The Magic Touch keeps things moving fast enough so that the viewer doesn't dwell on any of the shortcomings of the story. I will admit that things became a bit confusing and convoluted in parts (mostly due to the English subtitles of a Mandarin dubbing of a Cantonese movie), but Michael Hui is so damn likeable, it's easy to forgive any shortcomings in the technical department. His stylings might not be as gut-busting as Stephen Chow's work, but the guy is truly one of the better on-screen comedians I've ever seen. Even Leon Lai -- one of the most generic actors in HK -- seems to actually gain a personality just by

The Magic Touch isn't the most hilarious movie you're likely to see (especially for Western viewers who might not get a lot of the culture-specific jokes), but it is a finely crafted comedy. Some more ignorant or naive viewers out there might dismiss the proceedings here as "stupid". But for those who have already had a taste for HK comedies and can recognize the nuances Michael Hui brings to the art, The Magic Touch is definitely one of the more under-rated films out there, and is well worth a look.

Reviewed by: Stardust
Date: 07/10/2002
Summary: A Good Light Movie

I saw this movie when it first came out, so its a little blurry in my mind right now. But I remember that I really enjoyed it back then. I didn't watch alot of Micheal Hui films, so I don't really know if this one is worse or better than his other work. Leon Lai was rising to stardom at the time, and I'm sure this involvment in this movie helped a little in the box office.

Overall, it movie is quite funny, although the laughter kinda dies half way through. The bad guy looks scary, and I have no clue why Winnie Lau's character existed (probably for a love story betwwen her and Leon, but it never happened). Definitely a light movie worth watching.

Rating: 8.5/10

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 04/23/2002
Summary: Average

Well, the problem with the Hui Brothers is that they had got a little old by this time, and their comedy style had worn off somewhere in the 80's. But, nevertheless, it is still funny. Most of the time.

Don't watch this expecting anything more than ridiculous comedy from Michael & Ricky (no Sam this time), but if you like things like this, it's not too bad.

Rating: 2.5/5

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 10/17/2001
Summary: ok ish

a movie which starts off very well and is very funny, then all the laughs disappear!! Why?? The movie isn't consistent enough, because all the laughs are at the first half of the movie, while the 2nd half you want it to end as quickly as possible!!


Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 07/23/2001
Summary: Enjoyable

Hui is here rehashing some of what he and the 2 bros did in PRIVATE EYES. Again, Ricky plays a subservient role, Michael basically plays Mr Boo again, and Leon Lai steps into Sam Hui's role of Mr Handsome.

I actually think this is one of Michael H's better comedies. He's not as overbearing here. More humble, more likeable. The comedy is, mostly, remarkably gentle.

The plot does have a few holes. For instance, the villain doesn't remember Leon Lai as one of the taxmen who try to search his place for incriminating documents, then remebers near the end. But that's a pretty minor criticism.

The M Hui movie I like best is the one he did following thing film, the marvellous ALWAYS ON MY MIND. Nevertheless, I warmly recommend Magic Touch.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: nomoretitanic
Date: 04/17/2001
Summary: Been a while

I saw this movie about three summers ago. I loved it then. Some pot jokes and gay jokes. They were good-natured jokes though. It was slapstick it was a logical type of overacting. I didn't feel ridiculous or anything when watching the over-the-top gags. It was a good movie, not Hui's best but he had some timeless sequences in there.

I don't remember much from it now, all's I remember is this brilliant brilliant fight sequence where he has to battle three thugs rescue a girl while remain unseen at the same time. I don't wanna ruin it with my words, just watch it. You know what I'm talking about. Jackie Chan fans will have a field day with it.

Reviewed by: spinali
Date: 12/08/1999
Summary: NULL

Writer/director Michael Hui plays a knuckle-reader whose powersactivate only he's hit on the head. When an assessor discovers his modest talents at an audit, they join forces to nail a drug dealer on tax evasion. The plot's creaky, but a few gags (like one at a public bath/massage studio) will make you chuckle if you're in a good mood.


[Reviewed by Steve Spinali]

Reviewer Score: 5