Review: DON'T GO BREAKING MY HEART 2 单身男女2 (2014) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Review: DON'T GO BREAKING MY HEART 2 单身男女2 (2014)

3 stars
Although it doesn't have the inventiveness of the first movie, DON'T GO BREAKING MY HEART 2 is decent and entertaining enough for an otherwise needless sequel.

Frankly, I didn't see this coming when director Johnnie To decided to revisit the 2011's romantic comedy hit, DON'T GO BREAKING MY HEART. The first movie, on which he co-directed with Wai Ka-Fai, was a cheerfully inventive romantic comedy that gave a fresh spin to the otherwise typical story about a love triangle between a girl and two lovesick bachelors. It was already good enough that it doesn't really need a sequel at all. But three years later, the unlikely sequel is being made anyway. On the surface, DON'T GO BREAKING MY HEART 2 looks as if the sequel exists just for the sake to cash-in the success of the first movie, but I was quite surprised that the sequel isn't as bad as I thought.


After the event of the first movie that ends with Cheng Zixin (Gao Yuanyuan) made her choice to marry the handsome architect, Fang Qihong (Daniel Wu), the sequel sees her busy trying her bridal gown in Hong Kong with her brother, Paul (Vic Chou) for the upcoming wedding ceremony, while Qihong is away in Suzhou working on a building site. In the meantime, the sequel also introduced a new character in the form of a lady boss named Yang Yang Yang (Miriam Yeung), a "Goddess of Stocks" who is particularly terrible at parallel parking when she tries to squeeze in her white Ferrari on a tight spot. But coincidentally, Cheung Shen-Ran (Louis Koo) happens to be there and kind enough to help her park her car. Apparently, Shen-Ran and Yang Yang is in the same area looking to rent an office space for their respective investment firms. Both of them eventually fall in love, but trouble arises when Paul happens to love Yang Yang as well. Adding further complication is Zixin, who coincidentally ends up working for Yang Yang as a senior analyst.

If you have seen the first movie, there's nothing new here in terms of creative plotting. But Johnnie To's energetic direction along with Wai Ka-Fai, Ryker Chan and Xi Yu's entertaining screenplay manages to propel the otherwise clichéd sequel with fairly satisfying amount of fast-paced romance and screwball comedy. It also helps that most of the cast here, including two new additions -- Miriam Yeung and Vic Chou -- are gamely playful enough with their respective performances.

The elaborate, yet amusing sequence involving a few flight-attendant mistresses show up at Shen-Ran's office simultaneously to celebrate his birthday, and the hilarious scene involving a series of romantic misunderstandings that deals with Zixin, Shen-Ran, Yang Yang, Paul and Qihong.

Just like the first movie, the sequel also feels unnecessarily overlong where some of the scenes could have cut short instead. Apart from that, the sequel tends to make me feel like watching a déjà vu experience -- namely the message/gesture-on-the-office-window sequence, once a high-concept premise in the first movie, but now reduced to a formulaic outcome. The sequel even tries to introduce a new pet character in the form of a precognitive octopus, but failed to amuse as much as the first movie's far more delightful pet toad. It's also kind of sad to see Daniel Wu, who gives an impressive performance in the first movie, is largely sidelined as a cameo in the sequel instead.

But for all the flaws here, the climactic finale, which involves the re-ignited love triangle between Zixin, Shen-Ran and Qihong, baffles me the most, especially the way Zixin made her choice again choosing the love of her life. If that's not enough, there is a hint where the ending leaves an unnecessary door open for a possible third movie in the future.


DON'T GO BREAKING MY HEART 2 may have not reached the same creative height like the first movie did, but the sequel remains a worthy addition to Johnnie To's filmography in the romantic-comedy genre.

* This review is written courtesy from GSC press screening * 

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