Year of release: 1995
Director: Derek Yee
Action director: Chin Ka-Lok
Producers: Henry Fong Ping, Huang Jian-Xin
Writers: Derek Yee, Chun Tin-Nam
Cinematography: Venus Keung, Chan Wai-Lin
Editing: Kwong Chi-Leung
Music: Peter Kam
Stars: Jaycee Chan, Fiona Sit Hoi-Kei, Eric Tsang, Teresa Mo, Anthony Wong, Candice Yu, Chin Ka-Lok, Raymond Tso, Hui Siu-Hung, Mantic Yiu, Lam Suet, Tsui Na, David Chiang, Henry Fong Ping, Jamie Luk
Rated IIA for mild language
Movie Review Index
To say that Jaycee Chan has had a lofty bar set for him in the Hong Kong movie industry is a bit of an understatement. The son of Jackie Chan -- as with about seven billion other people -- may not be able to match pops when it comes to action prowess, but he has shown himself to be a very capable actor, as with one of his earliest roles, 2005's unfortunately named romantic drama 2 Young.
Jaycee's solid performance (along with the other members of the cast) is 2 Young's saving grace, since the root material it is dealing with is ABC Afterschool Special level fodder. Basically, Jaycee plays Fong, a kid from the wrong side of the tracks who falls in love with rich girl Lui (Fiona Sit) and gets her pregnant. Not surprisingly, this doesn't sit well with their parents, so the couple heads off to a house in the country and attempt to live on their own.
The end result is a foregone conclusion, so it is a testament to Derek Yee's directing skills that the audience still manages to become invested in a story they have inevitably seen played out many times before. The performances have a level of nuance to them not usually seen in the genre, even though Anthony Wong's take on Lui's father sometimes rolls into the realm of the hammy, especially during an extended speech at the end that pretty much undercuts much of his character's motivations and actions for the past ninety minutes so that the story can be wrapped up in a nice shiny bow.
In the end, 2 Young doesn't totally avoid the pitfalls of the genre, but still manages to avoid falling headfirst into them. This is a film that knows what it is -- a romantic drama aimed at more sensitive viewers who aren't afraid to bust out a hanky or two -- and does a good job within its' limitations. It also gives the opportunity of seeing Chin Ka-Lok cast as a lawyer, which is one of the odder bits of stunt casting long-time Hong Kong movie fans could possibly think of.