2005 - The Year in Review for Hong Kong Movies

Overall, as most pundits predicted, this wasn't a very strong year for Hong Kong movies. Though this particular reviewer doesn't think things were as bad as many others -- if fact, there were a few solid movies released. However, the output was releatively small, and there wasn't the one or two outright hits and critical favorites ala Kung Fu Hustle that Hong Kong has always seemed to produce, even during the past few years of waning box office returns. The following is just a few of my thoughts and "awards" for the year, but it should be noted that at this time, I have still not seen all of the 2005 releases.


Best Movie

Unleashed (aka Danny the Dog)

Corey Yuen left the wires at home and re-teams with Jet Li to create one of the best "pure" martial arts movies in years -- and the film still manages to have a heart even while limbs are being snapped.

Honorable mentions: Red Trousers, Seven Swords


Worst Movie

Where is Mama's Boy?

Where is mama's boy? Hopefully rotting in one of the seven levels of hell. A waste of film from beginning to end, this excercise in cinematic masochism fully deserves the zero rating it got on this site.

Dishonorable mentions: Himalaya Singh, Ah Sou


Best Actor

Shawn Yu (Colour of the Loyalty)

In a day and age when most young HK actors are content to pout and look cool, Shawn Yu is actually trying and growing as an actor, and his turn here as a reluctant hitman is a great example of that.

Honorable mentions: Daniel Wu (Divergence), Jet Li (Danny the Dog)


Worst Actor

William Hung (Where is Mama's Boy?)

This is a no-brainer. It's William f'ing Hung, for Christ's sake. The only thing good about his "performance" that it actually conviced people that he has zero talent, and he hasn't been seen since.

Dishonorable mentions: Lau Ching-Wan (Himalaya Singh), Timmy Hung (Legend of the Dragon)


Best Actress

Angelica Li (Divergence)

It's hard to pick a winner in this category, since most HK movies seem to put female characters on the back burner, but Li breathed a nice bit of life into what could have been a stereotypical "jade vase" role.

Honorable mentions: Suki Kwan (Colour of the Loyalty), Karena Lam (Home Sweet Home)


Worst Actress

Annie Lau (Ah Sou)

I feel kind of bad giving this out, since this was Annie's first role, but bad acting is bad acting, no matter how you slice it. Hopefully, she'll find better scripts and directors to work with in the future.

Dishonorable mentions: Cecilia Cheung (Set Up), Kim Hee Seon (The Myth)


Biggest Comeback

Tsui Hark (Seven Swords)

After years of crap like Knock Off, Tsui Hark seems to have put down the bong and has created a wuxia picture with a coherent story and stunning action sequences.

Honorable mention: Robin Shou (Red Trousers)


Biggest Setback

Jackie Chan (The Myth)

After last year's New Police Story, many people though Jackie Chan had caught a second wind -- until he ushered in this convoluted mess where the becomes second fiddle to some very bad CGI.

Dishonorable mention: Sammo Hung (Legend of the Dragon)

Hong Kong/HK-related 2005 movies reviewed on this site (with the rating out of a possible 10):

Where is Mama's Boy? - 0
Himalaya Singh - 2
Ah Sou - 3
The King of Wrestlers - 3
Legend of the Dragon - 3
Set Up - 3.5
Seoul Raiders - 4
The Myth - 4.5
Into the Sun - 4.75
The House - 5
Dragon in Fury - 5
Drink, Drank, Drunk - 5
Wait 'Til You're Older - 5
The Eye 10 - 5
Dragon Squad - 5.5
Kung Fu Mahjong - 6
Kung Fu Mahjong 2 - 4
Slim Till Dead - 6
Initial D - 6
The Promise - 6
Home Sweet Home - 6.5
Colour of the Loyalty - 7
House of Fury - 7
Dragon Reloaded - 7
Divergence - 7
Transporter 2 - 7
Election - 7
SPL - 7.5
Seven Swords - 7.75
Red Trousers: The Life of the Hong Kong Stuntmen - 8
Danny the Dog (aka Unleashed) - 8

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