review by Neo

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A true Ronald Cheng movie ...
Ronald Cheng is back! While he isn’t actual excitement that will set HK on fire, but he is nowadays, unusual candidates as a box office guarantee. Ever seen his surprise hit – Dragon Loaded back in 2003, Cheng has been consistent if not brilliant box office impact, and with Dragon Reloaded, he confirmed that there will still be life in the comedy genre after Stephen Chow. While that is a baton that is heavier than anything you will imagine, Cheng has finally come out of Chow‘s shadow and become his own style of mo lei tau comedy. Together with director Vincent Kok and the team of Sam Lee, Edmond Cheung and Ronald Cheng, they are a winning package that reminds us of those comedies in the 80s. Enough of the introduction and back to the basics, down to earth this movie isn’t by any means ground breaking, but it is easily Ronald Cheng’s best work and perhaps funniest work to date and yes, the sequel is better than the original.

The movie goes like this: Dragon (Ronald Cheng) and his best buddies (Cheung Tat-Ming) and Hei (Sam Lee) have joined the police force for two years but still just sit around doing nothing. Dragon's lover, Stephy, immigrated to Congo with her father and going to marry a local boy. All Dragon can do is cry endlessly. Dragon's father, Mr. Lung (Law Ka-Ying) feels the pain of Dragon's loss, suggests a trip to a spa resort for Dragon to regroup himself. Mr. Lung leads the gang to a Lantau Island village called "Pond of Eternity Goddess", becoming the resort first group of tourists, tries to make the best of the time. Dragon and the gang soon discover the spa resort is just a scam. At the same time they hear suspicious noises from nearby, so the gang goes out to investigate. They start a fight with a team of suspicious men, which turns out to be a SDU unit sent out by the headquarter...

While Ronald Cheng can be infinitely annoying to some, his sense of control and extremes is well developed here into real comic timing and in turn making him an extremely likable character almost impossible to dislike. Sure, he was annoying in Supermodel, as there he was going way over the top and leaving Neo extremely disappointed, but here it is a real turn around and perhaps a bright future ahead for Ronald Cheng. Like the three brothers of Jackie Chan and co. and also those comedians team in the 80s and early 90s, the movie will not work if the chemistry between Lee, Cheng and Cheung is so damn funny to watch and the way the play off each other is natural and almost to the point of watch a reality TV. As for the replacement from Stephy to another Cookie – Miki, she does what she does best, just being plain cute and she succeeds in doing so – at least in Neo’s honest opinion. In a funny finale, we see Teresa appears in what may well be another Cookie in another sequel.

However, with the comedy aside, the action is also 5 times better than the original, although the fight scene is short, but immensely entertaining to watch. It just shows that a well choreographic scene really shows the catch phrase – short but sweet. The romantic or unacquainted love between Cheng and Miki is sweet, but is immensely underplayed, due to Miki lack of screen time – they do make a sweet couple nonetheless.

There is a lot to cheer for in this comedy flick, not just for Ronald, but for the mo lei tau laughs and just plain laughs. From almost start to finish, laughs are filled from every corner and as far as comedy flicks are concern that is exactly what you are after. Sure the plot is silly and premise is stupid, but since they know they are stupid, it just shows that they are pretty smart too. In a way, Dragon Reloaded 2 are be a complete failure if it was directed by Wong Jing, but lucky it is not and for thumbs up performance from Ronald and add a stint of sweetness from Miki and the continuous laughter makes Neo look forward to a near-future – Dragon Unloaded 3.

I rate it 8/10

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Genre: Comedy
Director: Vincent Kok (Kuk Tak-Chiu)
Cast: Ronald Cheng Chung-Gei, Cheung Tat-Ming, Sam Lee Chan-Sam, Miki Yeung Oi-Gan, Ken Lo Wai-Kwong, Mimi Chu Mi-Mi, Law Kar-Ying
Reviewed by Andrew (Neo), August 2005