Written by: Mut Asheru
DOOMSDAY PARTY is a film set in Hong Kong and is an ambitious debut for first time director Ho Hong. The cast is a hodge-podge of characters that are brought together amidst a couple of hot button economic topics such as parallel trading, unscrupulous property development and the 2008 financial crises.
The cast includes a bomb making college student Lang (Kelvin Kwan), a problematic young woman whom he rescues from a gang Fish (Fish Liew), a famous habitual cheating boyfriend Victor Lo (Wilfred Lau), a bank saleswoman Luk Wan-yee (Kay Tse)who is the girlfriend of the cheating boyfriend, a philandering councilman Ho Chung-lai (K.K. Cheung), his mistress Rebecca (Maggie Chan), a disillusioned retired teacher Chung-tak (Teddy Robin), and a hardworking cop Kin-ho (Paul Wong) who happens to be Luk Wan-yee’s ex-boyfriend.
The “American” version of the film opens with a bomb threat in the midst of a demonstration happening at the same time of a bank robbery then back-tales to the past in order to tell everyone’s stories. Due to the sheer number of characters the script is a tad bit confusing. Hong attempts to tie everyone’s angle into each other and for the most part succeeds in delivering a believable drama complete with explosions and fight scenes.
DOOMSDAY PARTY boasts a good looking cast; however, the character development could have used a little more tweaking. It would have been nice to have some more background on Lang. When did he become interested in making bombs and why? Former teacher Chung-tak could have also used a little more meat. At the beginning of the film we see him preparing for some secret agent type actions but that line doesn’t pan out. Was he going to cuss someone out? Rob the bank himself? Kill someone?
Outside of a couple questions about the character’s motives Doomsday Party is pretty impressive. Hong himself attended school California’s Art Center College of Design and has cut his teeth on commercials and music videos. Doomsday Party netted him an Arri award at the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum.
Doomsday Party will be screened Thursday April 10 at 10:15 pm at the Angelika Theatre during the 2014 Dallas International Film Festival. For more info go to www.dallasfilm.org