Review: ‘Heonggong Ya Fungkwong’

(English version)

(English version)

Jamie Uys can rest easy over “Crazy Hong Kong,” a good-natured variation on “The Gods Must Be Crazy” that dumps South African bushman N!xau in money-mad Kowloon. Completists and exotica buffs will want to seek this one out, but fans of Uys’ two comedies may well decide enough’s enough.

Plot device of getting N!xau to the Orient is having him save yuppie businesswoman Carina Liu from a lion in South Africa and getting trapped in the luggage on her private jet back home. Rest of the film has N!xau tracking down Liu in H.K., sorting out her personal and business problems and converting her to the joys of a non-materialistic lifestyle.

Action sequences are plentiful and handled with nice comic style. Whenever the pace slackens, a subplot of two dumb jewel thieves who think N!xau has their diamonds resurfaces for another chase sequence. Subtext of the evils of Coca-Cola culture isn’t pushed.

N!xau makes a natural performer, even when wandering round Hong Kong in a loincloth. Local stars Liu and Cecilia Yip (as Liu’s ditzy friend) bring a touch of class to the proceedings. Direction by action-comedy journeyman Wellson Chin is pro.

Color in American-dubbed version is below par, especially in the bookending African scenes. Parts of original soundtrack survive in N!xau’s “click” dialogue and one Cantonese song. Film took an unassuming $ HK5 million on release in February 1993.

Heonggong Ya Fungkwong



An Edko Communications/First Distributors (H.K.) presentation of a Golden Flare Films/Edko Classics Films production. (Intl. sales: Edko, H.K.) Produced by Hoi Wong. Executive producers, Edwin Kong, Po-chih Leong, Peter Shepherd. Directed by Wellson Chin. Screenplay, Kong Fung, Lau Tseun-wai.


Camera (color), Kwan Pak-sun; music, Lau Yu-tat. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 20, 1993. Running time: 90 MIN.


N!xau ... N!xau Shirley Huang ... Carina Liu Winnie ... Cecilia Yip Jack ... Conrad Janis John ... Lau Ching-wan
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