Updated: Sep 13, 2020
This film Men on the Dragon (2018)《逆流大叔》was mainly funded by Hong Kong government, Hong Kong Film Development Council (香港電影發展局, HKFDC) with HK$4,492,800(about 4.5 million HKD), thus it is purely a local genre film project without Mainland China funding.
We can find other successful local project The Empty Hands (2017) in terms of artistic achievement however The Empty Hands (2017) was a box office failure.
On the contrary, Men on the Dragon (2018) has still been released in Hong Kong since August 2 and already earned more than 7 million HKD at present.
This film's protagonist is set as working class, especially blue collars. It is not like US films to take middle class/white collars as regular protagonists. Dir.Sunnyhahaha Chan stands with the working class people. It is one of positive and democratic aspects of this well made low budget genre film with Hong Kong local specialties.
The story is that an engineering department at telecommunication company Pegasus Broadband (天馬寛頻工程部) facing reconstruction and its aftermath (termination of contracts).
The protagonists 40 year old workers Chan Lung (played by the talented actor Francis Ng), Wong Suk Yee (Chan-Leung Poon) and William (Wu Tsz Tung Tony) and their boss Li Jia-tai (Kenny Tak Bun Wong) straggle to survive in the company by winning dragon boat race-strike under their own domestic difficulties with women affaires.
Among all Hong Kong actors, the most charming actor is Francis Ng (吳鎮宇), and we can see this film as his master piece. His acting skill and its talent are fully harnessed in action comedy and its rude protagonist. We can find it quite attractive as a movie character.
Audiences laughed at his comical performance so many times and also enjoyed the Wong Suk Yee's cross generational love and annoying relationship with their dragon boat coach Dorothy (played by Jennifer Yu) who is around 25 years old.
The production is a standardised genre filmmaking with multi cameras and drone aerial photography. We can not find any defects in its production values. Japanese TV production can not achieve this cinematic quality of production. The mode of production is obviously different.
Sha Tin regional government and its community are in full support of this film production. Audience can enjoy the dragon boat at Shing Mun River until the end of the credit roll.
This film structurally avoids Hong Kong audiences bad habit that they don't see the end credit roll and just leave after the end of story. In other words, audiences keep seeing the screen as long as the shots shown on the screen. This is what other Hong Kong filmmakers should learn to solve the habitual issue.
At the end of the story, audiences are highly satisfied with its happy end. It is not like the vague and powerless open ending of The Empty Hands (2017). The dramatic momentum is maintained until the end of the credit roll. This is the director's insistence on his storytelling.
This film is a quality work and the most well made pure local film production of this year.
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