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Poker King – Review January 26, 2010

Posted by Cello in Movie Reviews.

People say one’s fate has been pre-determined from the start like the cards in a Texas Hold’Em game.  Uno and Jack, part of a powerful gaming clan lead very different lives until fate brought them together in a poker duel. Jack is not on good terms with the family, having exiled himself to Canada where he excels at making money with online poker. After the passing of his father he finally returns back to his homeland to face his rivals.  A simple plot, the movie does reasonably well in the poker game section, with some bit of suspense.

Before you think this is a thriller, Jack and Uno are more friendly rivals than arch bitter enemies. With Poker King, you can break out the popcorn and stare at the Macau’s nice casino building attaractions. Unfortunately, a great setting is about all there is positive about this flick. So jarring is this adventure that it won’t be surprising if you were told this movie was written by 30 people, each contributing a different page for the screenplay.  For all the excesses its location promises, Poker King is a lean comedy that is enjoyable enough as a distraction, but nothing more.

Actors acting like little kids has long been a staple of commercial Hong Kong comedies, and indeed, Stephen Chow once made his name with similar performances. I was never a big fan of this. The storyline for this movie wasn’t built well. I think what I felt was a few missing parts here and there as I had no idea what the main focus was, whether it is on the game itself, or on a specific character itself.

The main point of this movie is by showing who is the real poker king and indirectly teaches you how to play poker. Since I already know how to play this is pointless for me. The end result was just another light hearted comedy not something that will stick in my mind. The plot was pretty dumb, and the movie was too stretched out and I got bored during various parts. For so long time, Chinese movies never filmed for more than 2 hours but Poker King has a running time of 2 hours 2 minutes which makes it a record film. So at least it is trendsetting in one aspect.


1. hagiblog - January 26, 2010

I think Casino Royale had the greatest poker game in it. Never has a poker match been so interesting. I got excited for a second when I saw this review but then I read the whole thing and was disappointed. I’d love to see a great poker movie but this sounds like it isn’t the one.

Cello - January 26, 2010

Agreed. I was also partial to ‘Rounders’ with Matt Damon.

hagiblog - January 26, 2010

I haven’t seen Rounders but I’ve always heard it was a good flick. Maybe I’ll have to see it instead of this one!

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