Project Gutenberg 無雙 (2018) - Hong Kong / China
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
It’s been a while and probably too long since the audience enjoyed a Chow Yun Fat’s performance. After being under the spell of wacky Wong Jing, Chow returns to what he does best, playing complicated characters and firing bullets in John Woo and Ringo Lam’s style. However, that’s just the beginning of the good news as “Project Gutenberg” is thoroughly entertaining, twisted and even layered with depth. It is a highly entertaining and engaging film that uses the maximum creativity of director and writer Felix Chong to craft an ending to not just satisfy the censors, but also the predictability of the audience. That alone is a class achievement by all means.
Aaron Kwok is excellent in a role that allows him to play the down and timid character who is a struggling artist in Chinatown Vancouver and transform into a counterfeit artist through the conning of the mastery in Chow Yun Fat. Chow shows great presence and something we have not seen for a long time. His unpredictability acts to the aura and the steer coolness of his gunshots oozes his greatest 90s heyday. It is really a character play and study and full credit to director Chong for allow all actors to play out their roles in unlimited style. In turn making a counterfeit film into something like an epic heist adventure and crime extravaganza.
Other supporting roles also shines as Liu Kai Chi again shows why he is one of the best Hong Kong actors. Zhang Jing Chu is always brilliant and plays the duo flawed role to perfection. A lesser actress would not have pulled it off convincingly given the twist and turns in the screenplay. Hong Kong actress Catherine Chau is given a rare and strong role as police inspector revenging the death of her lover.
All in all, “Project Gutenberg” is not without flaws and the twists and turns adds to that level of mystic. It is a good film that shows the importance of well thought out script and it contains plenty of room for the actors to excel in their respective roles. There are plenty of memorable scenes and most of them included the one and only Chow Yun Fat. This is the kind of quality blockbuster films that Hong Kong filmmakers should be making if they need to head north. As for long time Hong Kong cinema action fans, the king of guns is back.
I rated it 8/10