Tuesday, April 19, 2016

火锅英雄 - Chongqing Hot Pot

火锅英雄 (Chongqing Hot Pot) is an 2016 film out of Zhong Guo. The movie stars Chen Kun and Bai Baihe. The supporting cast include Qin Hao and Yu Entai. The film is directed by Yang Qing, who's debut film One Night In Supermarket was very entertaining. This time around, we have a heist movie based in Chong Qing.

The movie starts with a quartet of bank robbers that are about to get away, but their get away driver is noticed by the police and scrams. Leaving the quartet stranded, the robbers start to search for another way out. When the guy in the "monkey" face mask finds a whole in the safe, we're led onto another story. It is the story of Liu Bo and his two friends that open up a Hot Pot restaurant in order to unload it on a buyer, but it is a fake restaurant. Liu is a ma jong gambling addict that is in debt to loan sharks and has to take care of his 80 plus year old grandfather. When the trio finds the hole to the safe a few days earlier, they decide not to take it for fear of it being traced back to them, but the temptation is too much. The story unfolds as the money is too much temptation for all those involved.

This was an awesome movie. Yang Qing's style is pretty awesome and hearing the Chongqing accent was pretty fun too. I could make out half of what they were saying, but had to resort to subtitles for the other half. The story was a jigsaw puzzle waiting to be finished. You got hooked in by the bank robbers at the beginning of the film and you were reeled in waiting for things to connect.

Bai Baihe is in a fair amount of movies. Seems that I see her in 2-3 films a year lately. In this film , she is radiant and her presence really made you feel an emotional connection to the story. We see her role in the heist unfold to our delight. Bai is not front and center in this film, but when she is, she lights up the screen.

I don't know if this is the film to introduce Zhong Guo cinema to your friends, but its definitely got style, a great story, lots good looking leads, and plots twist galore. Go watch it and enjoy the ride.

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