The Goldfinger follows the rise and fall of Henry Ching (Tony Leung), who started as an immigrant moving to Hong Kong to find work and became the head of a large corporation in the 1970s and 1980s. When Ching cannot find work as an engineer, a property developer employs him to pose as an affluent investor to drive up the price of a real estate development. After Ching’s success, he is drawn into the corporate world, buying up various companies and making them successful with his Midas touch. However, after the company collapses when the stock market crashes, Independent Commission Against Corruption Investigator Lau Kai-yuen (Andy Lau), uncovers a sizeable criminal conspiracy throughout the years.
I went into this film relatively blind; I only knew it was a crime thriller with Tony Leung and Andy Lau, and the poster was intriguing. When Lau and Leung are on screen together, they are so good. I’m glad I bought that ticket. Films like Goldfinger are my jam. I love films about fraud and corruption investigations.
The film had a Wolf of Wall Street vibe, with scenes of extreme wealth, the boiler room, and similar sets. This might not have been a coincidence, as writer-director Felix Chong co-wrote Infernal Affairs, the basis of Scorsese’s The Departed. I didn’t mind the vibes; they definitely fit the story. There was also an element of humour, which worked for the film, though I didn’t always catch it. Sometimes, stuff does genuinely get lost in translation.
The film used a non-linear timeline, jumping back and forth between events and the police interrogations. I wasn’t familiar with the real-life inspiration, the fall of the Carrian Group in Hong Kong. It wasn’t initially easy to follow, but I got my bearings quickly. I always find a non-linear timeline more engaging, as you’re given small bits and pieces of what’s happening out of order so you can figure it out. I think it was effective for this story, as it gave Lau more screen time. There was one thing, though – I couldn’t figure out the motivation. I assume these stories are a mixture of greed, power, wealth, success, and recognition. I am not sure it effectively convinced me that Ching’s motive was one or many of those things.
Even though I couldn’t figure out the main character’s motive, I enjoyed the film. The pacing was good, and the plotline was intriguing – the over two-hour runtime flew by. If you’re into crime thrillers like me and don’t mind reading subtitles, I say try it.
Where to Watch
I’m a Data Analyst, from the land of Matthew McConaughey. I’m an avid movie-goer and love seeing films in theaters. My most recent favorite films are Good Time, Only Lovers Left Alive, TENET, and England is Mine. When I’m not at the movies, I’m either reading or watching obscene amount of true crime and historical documentaries.