THE PALE SKY (1998) short review


Yan (Sammo Hung), a modest salesman, is pronounced dead after a fatal collision with a car ; on his body the doctors find an organ donor card, which is lucky for Daniel (Kenny Bee), a rich businessman who’s just lost his genitals in an car accident. The problem is, a few hours after the transplant, Yan miraculously comes back to life and quite expectedly wants his manhood back, especially as his lack thereof would interfere with his forthcoming marriage to Nam-sum (Alice Lau), whose father (Richard Ng) hasn’t blessed their union yet. With the help of his friend (Emotion Cheung) and a lawyer (Kim Yip), Yan sets out to get back what’s his, but unexpectedly befriends the new owner of his junk, thus complicating matters even more. With a plot like this one, one would expect Takkie Yeung’s The Pale Sky to be a long string of dick jokes and yet, somewhat impressively, crass humour is mostly eschewed in favor of a sporadically amusing – and even more sporadically touching – dramedy that noodles around with the concept of manhood and how much of it has to do with one’s penis. The cast fares unequally, from a very obnoxious Emotion Cheung to the great Richard Ng on fine curmudgeonly form, with a one-note hangdog performance from Sammo Hung in the middle, though his chemistry with Kenny Bee is fine. But in the end, the film is undone by its painfully long runtime : almost two hours of whining and bickering over a penis is stretching it a bit, if we may say so. **

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