Back to Shanghai

The third entry in the popular “God of Gamblers” series, this 1991 comedy brings back Stephen Chow as an earnest bumbler who uses his telekinetic power to win at cards. Through a plot mechanism too elaborate and silly to explain, he and his uncle (Ng Man Tat) are transported back to the Shanghai of the 1930s, where a Japanese dragon lady in cahoots with corrupt officials tries to thwart the marriage of his grandparents. The film is an illogical and unrelenting barrage of convenient sight gags, topical jokes, and outrageous parodies, few of them funny, though director Wong Jing stages some eye-catching acrobatic stunts. Gong Li seems clueless as the love interest, but who can blame her? In Cantonese with subtitles. 110 min.

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