Movie Details

The Last Tycoon

It was 1917, China. Cheng is an innocent young man who works in a grocery store with no ambition other than to be with his lovely neighbor, Peking Opera student Qiu. But Cheng`s life changes forever when he walks in on an affair between his lady boss and the chief of police. To hide this secret, the chief throws Cheng into prison, accusing him of raping his lady boss. There, Cheng meets cellmate Mao, who happens to have an escape plan. The duo breaks out, but Cheng has to leave his life and his dream girl behind. Cheng finds a job as a bouncer in the casino owned by the powerful Inspector Jin. As Jin indulges himself in debauchery all day long, Cheng slowly climbs up the underworld ladder, becoming one of most powerful mob bosses in Shanghai in the late 1930s. Fame takes its toll when he finds himself stuck between the looming Japanese army and the scheming local secret service. To make things worse, he bumps into Qiu, along with her writer husband...

Language: Mandarin
Subtitle: English / Chinese
Classification: NC16
Release Date: 3 Jan 2013
Genre: Drama / Crime
Running Time: 1 Hour 58 Minutes
Distributor: SHAW ORGANISATION
Cast: Chow Yun-Fat, Huang Xiaoming, Francis Ng, Sammo Hung, Ni Ni
Director: Wong Jing
Format: 35MM, 2D

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Review
Writer: Naseem Randhawa

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Watch this if you liked: "Triad", "Young And Dangerous", "A Better Tomorrow", "The Godfather" & "American Gangster"

"The Last Tycoon" is a gangster story with heart which in a nutshell, is somewhat rather a Chinese version of "The Godfather" which sees Chow Yun-Fat taking a break from Hollywood to indulge his talents once again through Asian cinema.

Yun-Fat plays Cheng Daqi, one of the yesteryear tycoons of the 40's that ruthlessly ruled over Shanghai. The movie explores his rise to the top from his meager beginnings while he tries to forge and maintain relationships via his hectic underworld circle.

The main draw of the film however is not through its predictable storyline, which to be fair is partly based on historical mob accounts - but the star studded cast that carry the movie above par with their performances alone. Emotions hold more weight than violence in the plot and that's what Yun-Fat effortlessly conveys on screen as he tries to manage the conundrums of being part of the criminal world. Huang Xioming who plays the younger version of Yun-Fat's character also pulls his chops just as equally and both the actors are very reminiscent of Al Pacino's role in "The Godfather" which similarly also featured a story that followed his younger and older self.

With the two actors decently balancing the weight of the movie on their shoulders, viewers are also treated to notable performances by martial arts veteran Sammo Hung along with Monica Mo and Yuan Li, which is actually another plus point for the movie for where a good performance by a star-studded ensemble is concerned.

As far as Hong Kong gangster movies go, "The Last Tycoon" is one that stands out mostly due to the emotional play that it successfully evokes depicted through the harsh undertones of one's unforgiving underworld life.

Cinema Online, 06 January 2013
   
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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