Destination--9th Heaven (1997)

Run Time - 91 min.  |   Countries - Hong Kong   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Some of Hong Kong's best filmmakers came to the United States within close proximity of the handover of the nation to mainland China. Many of the rest soon found themselves in the propaganda business, as this dire film singing the praises of life under Chinese rule from director Wong Chun-man clearly illustrates. Winston Chao, the Taiwanese actor best known for his role in The Wedding Banquet, comes across as actually pained to speak some of his ridiculous dialogue. Chao plays Chin Ching, a Hong Kong entrepreneur interested in investing in the Chinese space program with the hopes of launching a satellite as part of celebrating Hong Kong's return to Chinese rule. Mona Chin (Gigi Lai) is Ching's bratty daughter, a physics major who turns her nose up at China's top rocket scientist, Chiang Shan (Tony Leung), before realizing that his simple, self-sacrificing dedication to communism is a wonderful thing to be admired. Mona quickly falls for the non-materialistic Shan, but there are a few problems: He already has a wife, and he is soon diagnosed with stomach cancer. Meanwhile, Chin Ching faces obstacles caused by greedy capitalist businessmen from Hong Kong looking to profit off the satellite, but his steadfast dedication to the celebration of his nation's return to communist rule gives him strength to make his dream come true. It's nauseatingly jingoistic material played without conviction, and the actors themselves seem to cringe from their roles at times, never a good sign for a film intended to put a happy face on the handover. Christine Ng and Sunny Chan co-star.