HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Lost in Hong Kong
HTS Overall Score:77
Most people think of action and adventure, love and drama in a Chinese film, but director/writer/actor Xu Zheng created a smash hit with his first “lost in” movie in “Lost in Thailand”. The goofy fish of water comedy may have seemed a bit cheesy for western audiences, but it was incredibly popular over in China and filled with more than enough belly laughs to be enjoyable. This time Xu Zheng is back again with another one in the series, this time he plays/directs/writes a story about a guy who’s lost in Hong Kong (thus the title of movie) and ends up being chased by cops, avoiding his annoying brother in law and trying to track down an old love to put to rest his old romantic feelings. It never is 100% perfect, and runs a bit too long, but I had a blast with the half buddy comedy, half romantic drama.
Xu Zheng plays Xu Lai, a middle aged man who seems to have a mid-life crisis. He had the love of his young life, Yang Yi (Du Juan), go off to art school, while he stayed behind. Years later he is married to a girl named Cai Bo (Zhao Wei) and is no longer living his life as an artist. He’s settled down and makes Bras for a living. A trade that he’s highly embarrassed about and lives with his wife’s annoyingly intrusive family. Decades later, Yang Yi comes out of the blue and invites Xu Lai to Hong Kong for her professional art gallery. Dragging his family along for a “vacation” Xu hauls heiney to Hong Kong where he plans to meet up with Yang Yi and finish their never finished romance.
Things naturally don’t go as planned for the slightly confused and love struck Bra designer. First he has to deal with his family in law for the trip and then he has to go out for the day after his wife has a meeting of her own. The only real hiccup comes in the form of Cai Lala (Bao Bei’er), his annoying and nerdy brother in law who fancies himself a documentarian. After hopefully ditching Cai Lala, Xu ends up being haunted by the young nerd throughout all of Hong Kong. Along the way the two “buddies” (who have no love lost between each other) get involved in an action movie set including an iron helmet that takes 35 minutes to get off, evade a pair of policemen tailing them, slip away from an adult movie set, then try to keep a set of Mexican and Chinese gangs from beating them alive. And that is all BEFORE they meet Yang Yi.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=66258[/img]“Lost in Hong Kong” takes a split on what type of movie it really wants to be. The first 2/3rds of the film is a whacky comedy that is full of laughs and insanity from beginning to end. Xu Lai and Cai Lala have that sort of love to hate each other type of in-law relationship that works well for comedy. Xu is desperate to get to Yang Yi and Cai Lala is being a horrific pain in the neck, doing his best to upset the whole operation without knowing that Xu Lai is actually trying to cheat on his sister. Once that gets out into the open, all bets are off as the “love to hate” turns into pure comedic hate between the two and things get even MORE insane as Lala intentionally tries to intercept Xu before anything can go down.
The other 1/3rd of the film turns into a family drama as Xu Lai has to come face to face with the choice of old love in his memory and what he has now. Faced with seeing Yang Yi up close he now realizes that what he THOUGHT he wanted, was different than reality. The image of unrealized love is one that is tantalizing and when having a midlife crisis seems perfect. However when faced with his reality, things aren’t nearly as appealing.
The biggest flaw in “Lost in Hong Kong” is the fact that it runs a bit too long. The first 2 acts of the movie with Xu Lai and Cai Lala are almost a full length movie in and of themselves. By the time they meet Yang Yi and figure that whole thing out it almost feels like the end of the movie, but there is still the sub plot with the cops chasing them and the married couple making up. This is where it took a stark change and the comedy goes out the window as an action/drama ensues. It’s not bad, and it really isn’t THAT long, but it does wear a bit in comparison to the first 2 acts of the film.
Not Rated by the MPAA
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=66266[/img]The 2.40:1 AVC encoded Blu-ray is very nice, with a natural color grading that sparkles out in the sunlight. The bright lights of Hong Kong shine brightly with rich reds, blues and tans that stand out against the drab city streets, or the wonderfully white encrusted mall of Yang Yi’s art show. Fine detail is very good, with great facial detail revealed and clothing and Hong Kong backdrops show every fiber and every broken brick that is to be seen. However, there is some softness to the film that keeps it from being razor sharp at times. It’s never smeary or annoying, but there is some moments where I could see a difference in clarity from scene to scene. Blacks are great, but there is some washing out here and there. Not much, but just enough to be noticeable.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=66274[/img]The best part of the whole movie is the aggressive 5.1 DTS-HD MA track. Rip roaring and full of spice, it is a wonderful experience from beginning to end. The film has a lot of dialog in it, and none of it is every in any doubt, but there is also a LOT going on around the characters. The streets of Hong Kong are alive with all sorts of activity and the hullabaloo of gangsters chasing them, or Action movie set pieces going haywire, or a skyscraper battle with cops all sound incredible in the surrounds. The LFE is powerful and vibrant, blasting away during the more action oriented scenes as well as adding some serious weight to the quirky sound track. Definitely the highlight of the film.
• Making of Featurette
• Blooper Reel
“Lost in Hong Kong” is an enjoyable, if not slightly imperfect comedy that was just as funny as “Lost in Thailand”. Xu Zheng has a great knack for comedy and combined with the nerdy Bao Bei’er we have quite a few laughs along the way. The Asian style of slapstick and situational comedy is a bit different than what we’re used to, but there still is plenty that translates over to keep you laughing the whole time. Audio and video are great with, once again, the weak link being minimal extras. Definitely worth a watch though.
Starring: Zheng Xu, Wei Zhao, Bei-Er Bao
Directed by: Zheng Xu
Written by: Huan Shu
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: Mandarin: DTS-HD MA 5.1, Mandarin DD 2.0
Studio: Well Go USA
Runtime: 114 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: March 1st 2016
Buy Lost In Hong Kong On Blu-ray at Amazon
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