The title isn’t the only thing to cause a feeling of deja vu in “Yesterday Once More,” prolific helmer Johnnie To’s addition to the long list of films about pleasure seeking, impossibly wealthy jewel thieves. However, pic boasts enough charm from its game cast to make up for any lack of originality; and, with Shaw Bros. vet Jenny Hu coming out of retirement for the bitchy momma role, it’s hard to quibble with the fun. Pic scored big locally on October release, though similarity to Western product will make offshore heists more difficult.
Andy Lau slips into Cary Grant mode as Mr. Thief, heir to billions but with a penchant for klepto thrills. He split with his equally rich ex-wife, Mrs. Thief (singer-actress Sammi Cheng), , but, when he gets wind of her (obviously venal) match with momma’s boy Steve (Carl Ng), he decides to swipe the family jewels himself in a playful game of one-upmanship. Modern Hong Kong never looked so glam, and To even throws in unexpected location work in Udine, Italy. Retro, Henry Mancini-inspired music keeps it all bouncing along.