Casino Raiders II

Casino Raiders II ★★½

A sequel in name only to Wong Jing’s 1989 very dull Casino Riders. Curiously this Johnnie To film feels more like a slapdash put together machine gun to all sides Wong Jing joint than his uncharacteristic somber first film. Probably because between the two, God of Gamblers huge success happened and Wong Jing DNA becomes an essential part of HK gambling films. This is better shot (helped by cinematographer Wong Wing Hung) and is mercifully 35 minutes shorter and Ching Siu-Tung contributes a couple of excellent action scenes. To only feels half engaged with the procedural, Casino Riders 2 like the first film tries to combine Heroic Bloodshed intense action melodrama with gambling genre and the truth is the card table can’t contain enough release to all the let’s pile violent misery over the central characters set up. Like the first film this was produced by Jimmy Heung whose family was notorious linked to one of the main triads so it is very possible this was an assignment To couldn’t quite turn down.

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