Cantonese comedy generally doesn't travel too well, but Michael Hui's comeback movie (he made a series of Tashlin-esque classics in the '70s) would be a riot in any context. Hui plays the stingy, stupid and backward-looking proprietor of a traditional duck restaurant; his meagre turnover plummets when a bright new fast-food chicken joint opens across the street. He frantically tries to stop his resentful staff from defecting, while dreaming up stunts to win back lost customers; the plot is garnished with everything from inspired slapstick to mother-in-law jokes. You could read it as a sardonic commentary on China's often farcical struggle to 'modernise' - except that you'd be laughing too much to think through the parallels.
Cast and crew
Michael Hui, Clifton Ko
Michael Hui Sylvia Chang Ricky Hui Lawrence Ng Lowell Lo