The Banquet (1991)

Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - Hong Kong   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Robert Firsching

Judged strictly on its cinematic merits, this "We Are the World"-like all-star project slapped together by four high-profile directors to benefit flood victims in China probably won't win many converts to the world of Hong Kong cinema, but that's hardly the point. Seasoned genre enthusiasts are likely to have a field day picking out the more than one hundred big stars who appear throughout this story of a contest between two billionaires (Eric Tsang, Sammo Hung) for the rights to rebuild Kuwait following the Iraqi invasion. Tsang is the most determined, claiming that he is dying of cancer as well as tracking down his elderly (and rather unpresentable) father to present to Prince Alibraba (George Lam) at a lavish banquet. It doesn't always work, and has some stretches which appear to have been shot on the fly in an effort to finish the project in time, but the cast is the main attraction, and what a cast it is. Tony Leung, Rosamund Kwan, Sandra Ng, Maggie Cheung, Teddy Robin, Andy Lau, Leslie Cheung, Joey Wang, Simon Yam, Lau Kar-leung, Karl Maka, Anita Mui, Sally Yeh, Sylvia Chang, Gong Li, George Lam, Kenneth Tsang, and director John Woo are among the dozens of famous faces from both Hong Kong and mainland China making appearances, and most devotees of Asian cinema will want this film in their collections for that reason alone.