Language: Chinese (Cantonese & Mandarin)
Subtitle: English, Malay, Chinese
Genre: Action, crime drama
Running Time: 1 Hour 47 Minutes
Director: Teng Bee
Cast: Melvin Sia, Henley Hii, Hero Tai and Aunty Lai Meng
Synopsis: “KEPONG, a famous local Chinese gang/gangster neighbourhood, is a story about five young men whom are best friends that join a gangster and then faces the reality of gangster life with financial problem, drugs, power and so on, ending up breaking their friendship and bad consequences. Although the theme of the film mainly focus on the story of the gangster, however, it still indirectly convey a positive message to the teenage, to highlight to them not to involve in any such activities which might ruin their bright future” (Ram Entertainment).
Verdict: It’s basically like a poor ripoff of Hong Kong’s popular gangster film franchise, Young & Dangerous (1995 – 1998). Well produced, commendable acting, good moral purpose but horribly written script with a number of plotholes and almost zero character development (which leads to almost zero emotional engagement). It’s so unoriginal that even my girlfriend could predict what happens at the end. Simply put, Kepong Gangster is a dark unrealistic Chinese gangster drama about the tragedies caused by a bunch of ridiculously dumb characters… on themselves. Like timing, there’s a Malaysian standard in gangsterism too, I guess.
Second opinion: “Unengaging plot but the guys are hot!” (Iris Loong).
Most repeated phrases: “Steady ah” and “Chao hai ah” (fried crab, which sounds almost the same as a Cantonese foul language).
Rating: 1 / 5
[SPOILER SECTION BEGINS HERE]
First half of the film – not that many plotholes: Just like in Young & Dangerous, five close friends, Zhong, Hoi, Billy, Teow Chew Boy & Bing, join a gangster triad just because they got bullied in school. Thanks to their kind boss whom they randomly follow to join the gang, they get promoted very quickly after accomplishing some dangerous jobs for the biggest boss of Kepong. One of the other bosses, Hak Loong, begins his simple plans to tear them apart after his business with the black foreigners is affected by the boys’ doings. Billy is sent to rehab due to addiction to drugs, Teow Chew Boy dies clumsily after falling off from his apartment window while escaping from pursuers (which wouldn’t happen if he wasn’t stupid enough to trust his hometown friend), Hoi gets jealous of the attention that Zhong receives from the bosses and therefore arranges for Zhong’s innocent girlfriend to be raped by their biggest boss. Zhong leaves Kepong with his girlfriend to hopefully cure her trauma and passes his lead role to Hoi. Parents, teachers and police are practically nonexistent in the movie.
Second half of the film – where the characters become really stupid: Hoi woos the biggest boss’ Taiwanese gangster girlfriend with a very cheesy pickup line and then refuses when she starts getting horny with him (what the fuck?). But they start having sex anyway. Hak Loong manages to get his hands on the photos of their affair and blackmails Hoi. As can easily be predicted by the viewers, Hoi becomes more evil and works together with Hak Loong to betray his initial boss and the biggest boss to become the new boss of Kepong. Hoi kills his initial boss by throwing him into a Kepong “longkang” (drain/sewer) without injuring him. No idea how that can kill anyone at all. Bing accidentally bumps into Hoi when he’s with Hak Loong. Afraid that Bing’ll blow the whistle, Hak Loong gets his followers to chase him. Bing gets hit by a vehicle in the process. Hoi gets an ambulance for him but then later decides to kill him in the hospital AFTER the doctor tells Zhong and himself that Bing has passed the critical condition. NOBODY questions how Bing can suddenly die on the hospital bed. Hoi convinces the boss’ Taiwanese girlfriend that the boss might have the photos of their affair and tells her to get close to him to drug him with a pill so that he could get rid of him before he gets rid of them. Which she does. Funny, didn’t he just convince her that the boss might already know about their affair? Hoi manages to murder the boss and rises to power. Then for no real need, Hoi announces to everyone that he will adopt the former boss’ girlfriend as his elder sister. Heartbroken, the pedophile woman commits suicide instead of going back to Taiwan. NOBODY seems to really know about what happen to everyone who died in the hands of Hoi but Billy, who was in rehab the whole time, somehow manages to find out about everything and subsequently takes revenge on Hoi. Hak Loong gets killed by an unknown person with a few GUNSHOTS (if my memory serves me right). Zhong lives happily ever after with his now-healed girlfriend at somewhere peaceful, ignoring whatever that’s happening back in Kepong. The film left me wondering – where the fuck were the Kepong police and the parents of these school kids?!
[SPOILER SECTION ENDS HERE]