A Moment of Romance 2 Review: Uneven storytelling hinders the film

Second entry in the popular series is a tear-jerker of the most manipulative sort. Compared to the first film, it’s vastly inferior and even a little insulting.

The sequel to the popular Moment of Romance (Thien Truong Dia Cuu 2) finds more sappy angst among young lovers. Wu Chien-Lien returns from the first film, but this time she’s Siu Sin (or Celia in the subtitles), a mainlander who works as a whore to make money to free her jailed brother. However, she runs afoul of evil pimps trying to frame her for a murder.

She finds solace in the arms of Frank (Aaron Kwok or Quach Phu Thanh), a young biker at odds with his dad (Paul Chun). Frank feels responsible for his mother’s death and, well, that’s why they’re arguing. Siu Sin tries to help out, but the pimps just won’t stop looking for her. Then, IT ALL GOES TO HELL.

Uneven storytelling hinders the film, along with contrived plotting that doesn’t add up to more than manufactured pathos. While the first film at least had some thematic and dramatic justification for its tragic resolution, this one just seems to follow a similar pattern to get a rise out of this audience. It doesn’t really work; you have to care about the characters first. As Siu Sin, Wu Chien-Lien (Ngo Thanh Lien) is fine, but that’s not necessarily something to write home about. Aaron Kwok is OK, but somewhat vacuous. Anthony Wong fares better as a vicious biker. Entertaining but not memorable.

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