From Vegas to Macau 3
To be honest, this review probably wouldn't be appearing unless I had been stuck on a flight for nine hours and had already exhausted the better choices on the airline's video on demand service. There's really no other reason I (or anyone else for that matter) would jump right into the third installment of a nosediving franchise where Wong Jing is happily cannibalizing his cinematic entrails for the sake of Mainland money. But, hey, there hasn't been a review of a new release on here for a while and we need some content, so away we go.
The plot centers on... ah, who the hell cares? Certainly, Wong Jing doesn't. I've always been one of the few defenders of his cinematic style, but a spade needs to be called a spade, and to say Wong is phoning it in here is a massive understatement. He couldn't even do his lazy "flying paper" style by himself, and thus has to enlist a co-writer and two (yes, two) co-directors to do the not-so-heavy lifting. The end result is a nigh-unwatchable mish-mash of disparate scenes clumsily stung together with crude jokes, lame slapstick, and tired cameos (Oh, it's Psy and they're playing a muzak version of "Gangnam Style"! Um, yay?) to try to force the semblance of a coherent and entertaining motion picture.
As you might guess, this wasn't exactly as fun as a barrel of monkeys to watch. Even the gambling scenes -- something which even Wong's biggest detractors will usually give him props for -- veer between boring and annoying and feature very little actual gambling. Supposedly, this was done to please Mainland censors, who don't like to show gambling in their movies, even though about a billion Chinese people regularly engage in it. And since that pandering to the government helped to generate a US$160 million box office take, Wong's not likely going to change his trajectory anytime soon. God help us all.
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