Review: Six Strong Guys (2004)

Directed by:
Cast: , , , ,

Not available in Australia on DVD (to our knowledge)

How exactly does one start reflections about a film titled Six Strong Guys when there with only really four main characters? Should one start with the rationalisation that there are two supporting men to make up the half dozen? Or perhaps conclude that they couldn’t make the other two interesting (or short) enough to fit into the movie?

Well the fact of the matter is Six Strong Guys basically the story of four men so self absorbed that they consider committing suicide in a rather obvious manner. When they fail to fall to the siren song of gravity’s harsher aspect, the movie proceeds to show us how they all “grow up”.

So basically Six Strong Guys is one of those feel-good life affirming films that seem to be quite popular out of HK nowadays – something of a reminder that everything since 97 has hardly been all doom and gloom. Nothing particularly eye catching or special and no doubt there is an equivalent made in english or within a more familiar cultural context that may be more comfortable watching. There’s very little about the film that really distinguishes it as distinctly HK.

Nonetheless, it is not really a bad movie. In fact of the four characters, the weakest seemed to be Ekin Cheng’s Long but I can attribute that as much to having minimal empathy to an ambitious man finding himself in a dead end job under a horrible boss. Of course, I also can’t say I also have much life experience with being married, about to get married or being impotent either so maybe it really was the least interesting story of the four. Otherwise Malcolm’s story starts off rather well with some really funny scenes that just peters out somewhat and similarly Ben’s story seems to lack a substantial conclusion yet interlaced with some really good interaction with Candy Lo’s character. Chapman To seems to have the most developed story as Chai and it is quite refreshing to see him do some drama rather than the usual sidekick goofiness he usually gets stuck with.

The stength of the supporting cast is what pretty much makes the movie however. Since our four main protagonists interact on the typical shallow male-buddy level, the most interesting scenes are when they are doing their own thing. The interaction between Long and his boss in George Lam is the strongest part of Long’s story just as Ben’s best lines are with Candy’s character. Karena Lam is always great to watch despite her small and token role. My only real complaint is in the 6th “strong guy” and girlfriend who is such a non-entity, his presence seems to be only there for the purposes of a single plot device and to make the movie more auspicious.

In the end Six Strong Guys is a watchable enough movie that’s easy enough to recommend if you have nothing better to do. Not exactly a must see but neither is it a complete wasteof time.

7 Used Titular Characters out of 10.
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