All’s Well, Ends Well


All’s Well, Ends Well is the seventh Hong Kong film to bear that title, the latest in a series of loosely connected romantic comedies that has become a popular H.K. Lunar New Year tradition since the first opened in 1992. As with most serial sequels, the establishment of a “tradition” frees the filmmakers from any pressure to innovate, improve, or otherwise make an above-and-beyond effort to surprise and delight. (See America’s Fockers franchise.) The premise here is that a website allowing women to reach out and contact men on the odd occasion when male help is still necessary has taken Hong Kong by storm. (The girls are invariably competent and knockouts; the men generally boobs.) Four such encounters of convenience set up the alternating stories in 2012 All’s Well: A never-was singer (Donnie Yen) acts as an escort for a has-been pop star (Sandra Ng); a construction worker (Louis Koo) does beefcake posing for a photographer (Kelly Lin); a wealthy lawyer (series regular Raymond Wong) is hired to play daddy to a fatherless socialite seeking a suitable husband; and, in the bit that recurs with the pleasure of a nagging toothache, a homely romance novelist (Chapman To) provides an experience of love to a ravishing blind girl (Lynn Xiong). Taken together, the whole thing is good for approximately one laugh, generated by the shabbiest CGI reptile since Anaconda.