God of Gamblers Movie (1989)

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Directed by Wong Jing

Produced by Jimmy Heung

Written by Wong Jing

Starring Chow Yun-fat, Andy Lau, Joey Wang, Charles Hueng

Cinematography Peter Pau, David Chung

Music by Lowell Lo, Sherman Chow

Edited by Choi Hung

Running Time 126 min

Country Hong Kong

Language Cantonese


Chow Yun-fat as Ko Chun / The God of Gamblers / Chocolate (nickname given to him when he loses his memory)

Andy Lau as Michael Chan/ Little Knife / Dagger

Joey Wong as Jane/Jen

Chow Yun-fat as Janet

Charles Heung as Lung Ng/Dragon (once served in special force under Nguyễn Văn Thiệu)

Ng Man-tat as Brother Shing

Jimmy Lung Fong as Ko Yee

Michiko Nishiwaki as Miss Chi, Ko Chun’s female Yakuza opponent

Wong Jing as Whoremonger in love motel (cameo)

Shing Fui-On as Big Mouth

Michael Chow as Casino manager

Pau Hon-lam as Chan Kam-sing

Dennis Chan as Doctor Toneg Wong

Chuen as Tanaka

Law Ching-ho as Motel manager

Yasuyoshi Shikamura as Ueyama Koji

Ronald Wong as Crow

Wong San as Jane’s father

Yeung Chak-lam as Nam

Seung-koon Yuk as Jane’s mother


Ko Chun (Chow Yun-fat) is an invisible gambler known for his synthetic hair, love for chocolate, and his jade pinky ring. He arrives in Tokyo, with the company of his wife Janet (Chow Yun-fat) and his cousin Ko Yee (Jimmy Lung Fong). This is prior to agreeing a challenge from Japanese high ranked gambler Tanaka (Chuen).

Tanaka is finally convinced that Ko Chun is better and he asks for his assistance while exerting vengeance towards Chan Kam-sing. Chan is behind his father’s death. Ko Chun agrees to that and he only asks for a box of chocolate as payment. Tanaka shows his appreciation by sending his bodyguard Dragon (Charles Heung) to accompany Ko Chun back home.

On his way home, Ko Chun falls into Little Knife’s (Andy Lau) trap that leads to him falling down a hill, and subsequently suffering from total amnesia and regressing to a childlike state. Knife and his wife Jane assume custody of the unnamed chocolate liking and childish stranger. Knife later nicknames him Chocolate. They later discover Ko Chun’s knack for gambling.

They begin to exploit ‘Chocolate’s abilities but soon after his past is rekindled. Misery mounts as Ko Yee accidentally kills his cousin’s wife. He later allies with Ko Chun’s rival that desperately want him dead. They send assassins to kill Ko Chun, but Dragon comes to his rescue. Ko Chun is later run over by a car during a fight and he ends up in hospital back to the childlike state.

Ko Yee does not give up on his vicious plan towards his cousin. He even gives Chan Kam-sing eyeglasses that would help him see invisible markings on the cards. Chan Kam-sing organizes a match to face off Tanaka and Ko Chun. Ko Chun finally beats him despite the aid from sunglasses. He finally exposes his cousin’s greed and betrayal claiming that he knew about it long ago.


Director (Wong Jing) manages to come up with a piece that launched a franchise with sequels later. Being one of the highest selling movies in Hong Kong’s history, the film is a combination of slick drama, revenge, and slapstick humor. The backdrop is an ancient Asian culture associated with gambling.

The director expertly chooses the characters in the film. First is Ko Chun, who is simply an admirable and irresistible character. This begins with his physical appearance and elegance. He is even referred to as The God of gambling due his prowess.

One of Ko Chun’s rivals regards him as the best after losing to him. His admiration is epitomized with his ability to incredibly mimic his childlike status.

Another one is Andy Lau, who a perfect imitation of his stage name Knife. He seems to cut across anything or anyone he wants. He manages to trick even the legendary Ko Chun. Lau takes advantage of any chance of bettering his family’s life.

Jane, playing as Ko Chun’s wife, is very loyal. She accompanies her husband to Tokyo and she even refused to sleep with Ko Yee despite the disappearance of Ko Chun. Dragon also proves his bodyguard status by outsmarting assassins sent to kill Ko Chun.

The most outstanding thing is the turn of events in the movie. This is not only illustrated by the characters but also the setting. The film begins as a gambling piece but the theme of treachery and malice prevails after.

That results to beautiful action scenes whereby even the main actor showcases his fighting skills. The producer later creates a sense of humor with Ko Chun acting childish and later getting the better of his rival.

However, I did not have the opportunity of watching the translated version. I had to struggle with the imbedded subtitles as the movie is originally scripted in Chinese. Nevertheless, It’s really a great movie that cuts across various genres.


If you are a fan of comedy, action, and drama, God of Gamblers is one to watch. Spending your time and money on acquiring a set will prove a shrewd use of your resources.

It’s one that diverts from the normal Hollywood setting, yet still remains significant. Having being impressed at almost everything in the movie, and so were other 4,587 voters, this film scores a good 7.3/10.

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