Money No Enough 2 (2008)

THE SCOOP
Director: Jack Neo
Plot: Three brothers tackle financial difficulties and life's hardships without understanding how their actions can have serious consequences.

Genre: Comedy/Drama
Awards: -
Runtime: 126min
Rating: PG for some sexual references.

TRAILER:

IN RETROSPECT

The movie that Singaporeans have been waiting for over a decade, Money No Enough 2 is the sequel to the successful hit comedy of the same name. After years of hesitation, local director Jack Neo has finally oblige to do a follow-up. Money No Enough 2 completely meets the expectations of a Neo film. It manages to give its prequel a run for its money, though the first installment is still widely regarded as a local classic.

Neo is well-known for his ability to write and direct comedies that satirizes local social life; despite his popularity, in terms of directorial talent, he still plays second fiddle to filmmaking stalwarts such as Eric Khoo (Be With Me, My Magic) and Royston Tan (881, 12 Lotus). It is not difficult to agree with me that most of Neo's movies such as I Not Stupid and Just Follow Law are just like tasty appetizers - it looks good and tastes great, but they do not have the ingredients of a sumptuous main course.

Money No Enough 2 is arguably the closest movie Jack Neo has ever done which combines strong elements of comedy AND melodrama together. It is both funny and touching at the same time, the kind of emotion that few directors of the dramedy genre are able to exude in their movies. If Neo doesn’t stray the course, he will definitely be able to rub shoulders with some of Asia's most talented directors and stake his claim as the best filmmaker to emerge from the tiny red dot.

The CG effects used in this film are at best cheesy, at worse a laughing stock. But it's a start. Jack Neo explores issues close to our hearts through a family of brothers (played by the reliable trio of Jack Neo, Mark Lee, and Henry Thia) who encounter financial problems at every corner. Along the way, unfortunate circumstances happen and we are made to observe the behaviors of these people, which are a kick in the teeth for us because some of their attitudes mirror that of ours.

The star of the film is Lai Meng who plays a typical Singaporean grandmother to perfection. Often most of the hilarious setups involve her character interacting with others. Two of the most side-splitting moments include a sequence involving bras and another involving a lengthy 'Have you eaten yet?' dialogue spoken in Hokkien. Money No Enough 2 arrives two weeks before the highly-anticipated musical 12 Lotus. Even though it is a marked improvement from Neo's earlier works, I still foresee 12 Lotus being crowned the best local film production of 2008.

SCORE: 7.5/10

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