Coming to DVD from director Jing Wong, Bona Film Group and Well Go USA Entertainment is the story of THE LAST TYCOON.
This film tells the story of Cheng Daiqi (Chow Yun-Fat), a businessman in Shanghai who recalls his youth when he was saved by a gangster. Taking the young man under his wind, Daiqi leaves everything he loves behind, including his love Zhiqiu (Monica Mok).
Working his way up the ranks of the organization led by Hong Shou Ting (Sammo Hung Kam-Bo), he finds love again with Mao Zai (Francis Ng). One day in an elevator he sees Zhiqiu one again and his emotions come flooding back.
As the war comes closer to Shanghai, sides are chosen. Being a calm man of reason, Daiqi knows he must play the game close to the vest if he is to save his young love Zhiqiu and her husband who has a list that could destroy them all.
Friends become enemies and war takes its toll – except in love.
FINAL WORD: Yun-Fat is brilliant and beautiful as Cheng Daiqi. His body movements are graceful and his face carries no clue as to what he will do or say. This is amazing acting by Yun-Fat. His demeanor in this role sets the tone for a story so full of emotion and depth yet he makes it look effortless.
Mok as Zhiqiu is graceful and lovely yet there is a side to her that is powerful in its own way. Coming from a family life that didn’t support her love of opera and theatre, it will become the one thing that serves a purpose for them all. Mok plays her role with dignity yet when she sheds a tear it is most profound.
Kam-Bo as Ting is a supportive boss who sees the potential in Daiqi. As the top man in the gang I would expect a certain toughness and although there is at moments, his character is unexpected.
Kurata as Nishino is the guy I would suspect out of them all to be the first to turn into a traitor. The character does what he must to get the good life and get out alive from a war that could possibly wipe out Shanghai. There is an air of creepiness about him that keeps the viewer’s eye on him.
Other cast include: Quan Yuan, Li Yuan, Hu Gao, Tian Gao, Luxia Jiang, Kimmy Tong, Baiqing Xin, Yitong Zheng, Xiaoming Huang as Cheng Da Qi (young), and Wenjuan Feng as Ye Zhiqiu (young).
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE LAST TYCOON four tubs of popcorn out of five. This is an amazing period piece with a story that spans over a thirty-year period. The costuming is impeccable and the cinematography has a life all its own in this film. Watching Chow Yun-Fat play this character was beyond a joy and it is because of the grace in which he held this role.
The effects are astonishing and the attack on Shanghai intense. I will admit that seeing more of the stage scenes with the stunning opera costumes would have thrilled me. Although the film is violent at times it doesn’t over run the film. In a way it’s third in line for me. First is the love story, the second is the subterfuge and twists to the point I forgot they were gangsters for a second. Well done!
Well Go USA Entertainment has an amazing reputation for bringing Asian Cinema to North America. With over 2,000 titles world wide on DVD and Blu-ray, Well Go releases five to ten titles monthly. For more check out www.wellgousa.com.
The DVD includes “The Making of THE LAST TYCOON” featurette and a trailer. The film has a running time of 119 minutes and worth every moment. Asian cinema has so much to offer and this film is for those who look for a good storyline that is magnificently put on film.
In the end – loyalty at all costs!
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