Monday, August 19, 2013

#27 Movie Review: Unbeatable ❤

As usual, million thanks to Nuffnang for the tickets. (:

Synopsis
The present day: After a biking holiday in Yunnan province, China, Lin Siqi (Eddie Peng), the son of a wealthy businessman (Jack Kao), returns to Beijing and bumps into an old friend, Chen (Wang Baoqiang), who is enjoying some conspicuous spending after his father died and left him a fortune. 

In Hong Kong, meanwhile, Hong Kong taxi driver Ching Fai, aka "Scumbag Fai" (Nick Cheung), a former boxer and ex-con with gambling debts of HK$200,000 (US$25,000), flees to neighbouring Macau and gets a menial job at the gym of old friend Tai-sui (Philip Keung). 

He rents a room in the flat of Wang Mingjun (Mei Ting), a Mainlander who has a 10-year-old daughter, Leung Pui-dan (Crystal Lee). Mingjun still suffers from depression, after a nervous breakdown when her husband left them for another women four years ago, and Ching Fai slowly becomes attached to her and the mouthy Pui-dan. Meanwhile, Siqi has washed up, penniless, in Macau with his father, who has lost the will to live after being bankrupted by a stock-market collapse. 

Finding work as a manual labourer, Siqi decides to enter the forthcoming Golden Rumble MMA Championship, which has a purse of HK$2 million. With some experience in taekwondo, he enrols at the same gym where Ching Fai happens to work, in order to learn MMA. 

After Ching Fai by chance helps out Siqi one night when the latter's father turns violent, Ching Fai agrees to help Siqi with his MMA training, even though the championship is only 10 weeks away. However, Ching Fai, despite being 48, also harbours a secret desire to compete for the prize money which he so desperately needs.

Review
The main focus of this drama is on two male protagonists, here not on opposite sides of the law but brought together by the need for money to fix their lives and the need to win for personal self-esteem. The relationships and sub-plots are all totally formulaic (suffering single mum, beautiful ex-girlfriend, pushy kid, ex-boxer gone wrong, rich kid on the skids with a problem father to support).

But it's sustained by the acting of Nick Cheung, who makes his middle-aged loser a genuinely shaded, believable character, and by the chemistry between him and Peng, which even gets away with them sending up the borderline homo-erotic aspects of the movie, with super-buff male torsos fulsomely on display. (In this respect, Cheung, 45, who trained particularly hard for the role, gives Peng, 31, a serious run for his money.)
 
I would rate this movie: 4/5. To know more about this movie, please watch the trailer below. (:



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