Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:30 PM
Center for Korean Studies Auditorium
Malaysia (2011, 106 min)
Mandarin/dialects and Malay w/English subtitles
Directors: Lee James Thim Heng, Yuen Sampson Choi-Hin
Screenwriter: Boon Siang Lim
Fight Choreography: Ma Yuk-Sing
Cast: Mark Lee, Yann Yann Yeo, Wee Meng Chee, Tong Chris Bing Yu, Lee Frederick Ming Zhong
Malaysian films are going places these days, from prominent art house features in A-list festivals to box office blockbusters in the home market, there’s no denying that the state of the industry, and its products, have been steadily improving in recent years. Directed by Sampson Yuen and James Lee, and with shades of the good ol’ Hong Kong films of the same action-comedy genre, Petaling Street Warriors is a film that’s plenty of fun, and chock full of stars to provide it that boost in entertainment value.
It’s just the turn of the century, and in the olden days, hawkers in general have to pay protection fees to gangsters to ensure they get left alone. Along the way, they run into Hokkien gangsters, Cantonese gangsters, casino bosses, brothel mamasans, Japanese ninjas, a corrupt English policemen, and they even throw in Dr. Sun Yat Sen for good measure!
Uniting all the plot threads and ensemble characters inhabiting this small town is a buried treasure and a treasure map with everyone scheming and plotting to get their hands on it. Through all of the mayhem, Petaling Street Warriors still manages to pull off something unique and Malaysian through its many visual references. With a martial arts stunt crew from both Hong Kong and Malaysia, this film’s ambition is nothing to scoff at.
-Acknowledgements to Stefan S, (A Nutshell) Review